Inside the program: Nurses help needy families during holiday season

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, November 17, 2009

By Diane Gully, RN-BC

For the third consecutive year, the nurses at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, VA, came together to support the Montgomery County Christmas Store. The Christmas Store is an all-volunteer, community-wide nonprofit organization that assists low-income families during the Christmas season by providing a shopping experience characterized by choice and dignity. Customers must meet income qualifications to shop, and with rising unemployment rates, the need for the store is greater than ever.

Organizing the store for the shopping season is a huge task. In 1982 the store served just 267 people. Last year, it provided help to 1,400 families. The operation depends upon more than 2,000 volunteers throughout the year.

Nurses at Montgomery Regional have designated one Saturday each year as Make a Difference Day. They volunteer their time as a group to help set up for the shopping season. Additionally, many of these nurses return to work at the store during the actual shopping days. The nurses know that their support, as well as the support of other community members, ensures the Christmas Store will continue to operate for many more years to come.

Sally Bohland, board member of the Christmas Store, wrote to the nurses to thank them for their time. "Time is so precious, especially at this season, yet you [MRH nurses] share yours in order to make the holiday better for so many. We could not do it without you."

These nurses exemplify our hospital mission, which is caring for our community.

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