Medical Center Gift Shop Offers More than Shopping
More than a place for gifts, the Marshfield Medical Center gift shop continually gives back.
Run by the nonprofit Partners with Marshfield Medical Center, proceeds from the gift shop and hospital cafe go toward hospital programs, organizations, and scholarships.
Formerly Partners with St. Joseph’s Hospital, the nonprofit began as an auxiliary in 1962 as a group of doctor’s wives and community members who wished to support the hospital’s needs.
“Instead of doing the tradition bake sale like most auxiliaries at that time, they started the gift shop,” said store manager Kathy Stone. About fifteen years ago, a coffee cafe was added for the same purpose.
Today, the gift shop is a go-to place for an extensive variety of high quality gifts that anyone can stop by and browse. “We do our own flower arranging so it cut costs,” said Stone. “They don’t have to pay delivery fees.” Recently, the gift shop has also done flower arrangements for weddings and funerals.
After expenses, the profits from these purchases are given to different causes within the hospital.
Partners funds about fifty heart pillows a month for the cardiac unit for recovery after heart surgery, when patients need to hold something firm against their chest to cough. It also gives each newborn a hardcover book and a letter promoting reading, a special gift basket for the first and last baby of the year. Other organizations that have benefitted include the Children’s Miracle Network, House of the Dove, Hope Lodge, and Ronald McDonald House.
There are small, but thoughtful programs, like giving out ornaments and balloons at Christmas and providing trick-or-treating for the patients. During Rotary Winter Wonderland, Partners provides baked goods and snacks for volunteers. Partners funds long-time greeter Sunshine the Clown and provides uniforms for volunteer teens (“Volunteens”), who are eligible for scholarships. Last year, fifteen scholarships totalling $1000 were awarded to Volunteens and employees. As long as they meet the criteria, recipients are able to re-apply at at later date to try for a second scholarship.
Besides outside programs, the shop itself is a way to help visitors. Whether it’s a patient after an appointment, a loved one waiting on news, or hospital employees taking a break between procedures, the shop is a getaway whether or not the visitor is making a purchase.
“They’re just coming in to get away from all the stresses going on. Hospitals are stressful places,” said Stone.
Volunteers bring down costs and allows Partners to give more back. Some of the volunteers have worked in the gift shop for over twenty-five years, and the gift shop could always use volunteers about four hours a week, said Stone. Those interested can give her a call.