Leanne Butz with her “Candy Crash Cart,” which she uses to deliver candy to her colleagues and visitors at the hospital every Wednesday after her shift.
“We were going through shutdown, and I saw a nurse was having a really hard time,” said Butz, who is lead echo tech at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth GlenOaks. She remembered having some chocolate in her locker and asked the nurse if a piece of candy might help. It did.
Since then, she has been a fixture at the hospital, sharing a sweet treat every week because, “Everybody can use a piece of candy.”
Her routine has grown. Now she spends a couple of hours on Wednesdays after her shift ends handing out some candy in an effort to ensure all her colleagues throughout the hospital get their sweet treat. She also sometimes offers candy to hospital visitors and, after checking with their nurse, to patients.
“I chose Wednesday because it’s the middle of the week. I go to every department and give them a piece of candy after my shift, and over time it became a two-hour process. So, my husband decided we needed something bigger.”
She started carrying her candy in a plastic shoebox covered in hearts. But as her giving increased, she found she had to keep refilling the box. So, she upgraded her delivery system.
“My husband bought me this wonderful white cart with a drawer. He even went to a signage company and had a sign made for me that says, ‘Candy Crash Cart,’” said Butz.
Butz has learned what kind of treats her coworkers like, and she tries to stock their favorites. She pays for the candy herself—often 50 pounds of candy at a time. She believes the smiles she receives are worth every cent.
“It’s the smiles that you get from people,” Butz said. “It warms your heart and soul when you see how strong God’s presence is here. And if I can help spread a little bit of joy once in a while with chocolate, it’s worth it.”
This method of giving back has continued to help her as the pandemic recedes. “It’s just a wonderful way of being able to connect with other people,” she said. “Just being able to stop by and check in with people to see what is going on in their life and see how I can help them out.”
“Leann has a heart of gold,” said Ann Girard, director of cardiology and Butz’s supervisor. “I wasn’t surprised when she came to me with this idea. She wants to do the best for herself and the people around her. She’s an absolutely amazing individual. She makes everybody feel like family and that is what we’re about.”
Butz enjoys talking and catching up with people as she hands out candy and has built many new friendships. “It’s a social time. I stop and see how people are doing. I have met a lot of people,” she said.
She thinks of it as a way of giving back to all the people who work at the hospital helping others.
“These people are so selfless. They take such great care of these patients, and I am thankful for every one of them.”
Julie Busch, Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications