Asking the right people for the right donations for the right cause has become a specialty of Sarajane Johnsen’s. It’s how she gathers food, drinks, supplies and volunteers to help upwards of 250 people each month at Life Center of Eastern Delaware County, which serves Upper Darby’s homeless, elderly and poor.
Inspired by the gratitude of the men, women and children she met on her visit to the center, Johnsen got her Mercy Fitzgerald colleagues involved with a heartfelt written donation request. Doctors and nurses offered everything from cash to casseroles. But she didn’t stop there, soliciting chicken from Chick-fil-A, beverages from Wawa, bread and sweets from My Old Place Bakery in Lansdowne, and more.
Hospital employees and their families now serve as volunteers for Mercy Night at the Shelter, which Johnsen has been coordinating for nine years. “It’s all about how you ask,” says the 40-year Mercy employee. “It’s like Pat Croce says. ‘If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.’”