Nathan’s Angels deliver joy at Christmas

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer,

Just like they do every year, employees at Genesis Health Care dug deep and donated money to support a worthy cause for the holiday season, but this year their giving was tinged with sadness. Nathan McRae, the purchasing coordinator for Pee Dee Health Care, lost his life in an auto crash this fall, a crash that also seriously injured two colleagues.

Nathan McRae Photo submitted

Nathan McRae
Photo submitted

“Nathan was a big personality. He just lit up any room he walked in to,” says Lynn Shillinglaw, Genesis Health Care clinical coordinator. “Now that he’s gone, you see that you never realized how many times a day you called his name and talked to him or asked him for something. You still expect to come around a corner and see Nathan there.”

Shillinglaw says that Genesis offices usually collect charitable donations all year long by getting employees to kick in a little money for the chance to wear jeans on casual Fridays. It was Nathan’s idea to make this year’s corporate donation more personal, to find a needy local family and fulfill their Christmas wish list. By talking with a Darlington elementary school counselor, a family was located and Nathan set to work.
“This quickly became a passion for him. He received the information from the school of a family of 4 children in need. He immediately began to spread the word of the project,” says Shillinglaw. “This year, even though saddened by our loss, we wanted to continue on with this project. We decided to name the project Nathan’s Angels. Our office has pulled together and dug deep in their pockets to make his passion a reality. So far we have collected everything on the wish list for all four children.”

Taking up Nathan’s duties on the Christmas project were patient representatives names are Ranita Ross and Genia Avins, and Shillinglaw says Nathan would have been proud of the hard work and generosity shown by his friends and colleagues.

“This has just been a reminder for us that even through loss and pain, the true spirit of Christmas can prevail,” says Shillinglaw.

No doubt McRae will be watching when his project comes to fruition, as those needy kids wake up Christmas morning to discover that Santa Claus found their house… with help from Nathan and his angels.

Author: Jana Pye

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