A number of changes have taken place at Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital as a result of COVID-19 pandemic this year. For the safety of the Auxiliary volunteers, the gift shop was closed and the volunteers who assisted in person throughout the hospital had to discontinue. The Auxiliary volunteers are in a high risk age group and the threat of exposure during this time is too dangerous.
In preparation for a potential surge of patients, the gift shop space was repurposed as a holding area for patients who would present themselves with virus symptoms. All the Auxiliary gift items had to be boxed up and moved to storage. After months of the gift shop being closed, the volunteers hosted a Christmas Gift Shop Sale in early December at the Presbyterian Church to liquidate as much inventory as possible. They sold their new merchandise at a 30% discount for Christmas Gifts. The sale was a huge success, but they still had many items left.
There were several boxes containing merchandise that would normally be purchased for patient gifts in the hospital. The Auxiliary set those items aside for departments within the hospital that would be able to share with patients. There were Beanie Babies and stuffed animals that could be given to pediatric patients in the Emergency Department. There were boxes of “Get Well” balloons that could be given to patients in Med Surge and “Welcome Baby” balloons for newborns in the Mother Baby Unit.
“Our Volunteers are spectacular,” said Lisa Lochner, VP of Operations. “Even when they were unable to assist in person at the hospital, they came up with an idea to provide some cheer to patients in the hospital through their generous donation of gift items.”
Pictured is Michelle Koons, Mother Baby Unit Nurse Manger with Baby Gift Balloons from the Auxiliary Gift Shop.