Nursing assistant spreads generosity to local children, food bank, family
For the past several years, Berta Recinos has purchased gifts for children staying at a local domestic abuse shelter during the holidays. Last year, there were more kids on the list than usual.
“We’re talking about those kids who are in the shelter with their moms and not able to celebrate,” said Recinos, patient care assistant with the ICU at UCHealth Greeley Hospital (GH).
She told her ICU colleagues about the effort, inspiring contributions totaling 20 gifts.
“I’m very, very grateful for their support,” Recinos said. “They are such amazing people. I’m very honored and glad to be working with the crew that I work with.”
She also joins co-workers volunteering each month at a local food bank. And after she learned of a GH birth center nurse’s teddy bear drive to support bereaved parents, Recinos and ICU nurse Aimée Olson ordered a package of 42 bears.
“We split the cost, and she helped find cute, funny, motivational sayings to put on notes,” Olson said, adding that they affixed the notes to the bears and sent them, one-at-a-time, through the pneumatic tube system, delighting the birth center staff.
“She was so happy to be directly involved, and you could just see that this was the type of thing that brings her joy,” Olson said. “She also requested to remain anonymous, but I think she needs to have all the recognition in the world because she does stuff like this year-round in silence.”
Recinos’ generosity extends to her family members in Guatemala. She sometimes picks up extra hours at work so she can send money to support her mother and aunt, who is disabled.
“It’s kind of hard to fill some of their equipment needs over there,” she said. “Me and my brother who lives here, we try to support them – emotionally and also, when we can, financially.”
Recinos has worked at the ICU since 2019, starting a few months after the hospital opened. She said she enjoys being able to make a meaningful impact for families and their loved ones.
Olson said Recinos is “hands down the most selfless person I have encountered in all my life.” She anticipates needs on the unit before a request is made and is willing to pick up shifts to help accommodate others’ schedules.
“She is a steady, calm, positive influence, frequently offering sound advice to the nurses she works with when they are going through troubling times of their own,” Olson said.
As the holiday season approaches, Recinos plans to continue the tradition of making sure children in the shelter have something to celebrate. Their combined efforts last year led to gifts for 40 children.
“I feel like the joy you feel helping others is completely priceless,” Recinos said. “It fills me.”