Mercy Auxiliary looking for volunteers

While Mercy Auxiliary workers quietly work in the background much of the time, their efforts provide a valuable service to the community. Carolyn Crystal of the Mercy Auxiliary stepped forward at today’s Chamber Coffee to make a request of the community. Crystal highlighted the fact that the Auxiliary needs more volunteers to step forward. The pool of volunteers is running a bit low, and the service the Auxiliary provides much-needed services to patients, such as mail delivery, running the gift shop, assisting William James Schafer with pastorial duties, and assisting incoming patients and families. Volunteers also sew stuffed bears to give away to children that come in for shots and emergency visits, in addition to caps for cancer patients and pillows for outpatient surgery patients. “We have workers in here 5 days per week,” Crystal said.  Crystal said that the Auxiliary is looking for volunteers of all ages. “I don’t want to put anyone out [of consideration] that wants to volunteer,” said Crystal.

Carolyn Crystal holds a pillow, cap and stuffed bear sewn by volunteers for patients.

Crystal explained that volunteers work in two shifts, 5 days per week. The morning shift lasts from 8:30AM-1:00PM, and the afternoon shift, from 1:ooPM-5:30PM. For each shift, the worker earns 5 hours of credit. The Auxiliary does request a $5 donation from each worker every year, but that during the first year, it can be waived.

Crystal also pointed out that the volunteer work does have some unique benefits. For each hour that volunteers work, they have 1 hour of credit (1 hour=$1.00) to apply to hospital visits, medications, Health for Life or doctors’ appointments. Additional benefits include a free beverage at the cafeteria during the worker’s shift, a discount at the hospital gift shop and cafeteria, and an annual flu shot and TB test. Crystal also mentioned that the hospital puts on a special banquet every year for volunteers and presents each one with a small gift. “The appreciation dinner is very nice,” Crystal said.

Other activities Auxiliary workers are involved in include the annual gift shop Christmas Show, which is usually held the 1st of November in the MacAuley Room.

In other news:

  • The Chamber Golf Classic will be held Friday, July 26th from 11:15AM-12:15AM at the Woodland Hills Golf Course. Bryan Holt of Union State Bank mentioned that the weather was predicted to be unusually nice for the event. “The high is supposed to be about 88 degrees,” Holt said. Other chamber announcements included new Rural Opportunity Zone legislation and the Chamber’s interest in the tax break opportunities contained in that legislation.
  • Tina Rockhold, Regional Marketing & Communication Manager and Philanthropy Director for Mercy Hospital announced the upcoming Mercy Day Run to be held September 28th. According to Rockhold, the proceeds from the event, which will feature a half-marathon, 5K and 1 mile run/walk, will be put toward the purchase of equipment for pediatric therapy.
  • Lindsey Madison, Executive Director of the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, announced the “Tax Holiday” to be held August 2-4. Participating businesses will be able to offer a reduction in the price of their products thanks to a temporary exemption in local sales tax. In order to participate, businesses should contact the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Katherine Richards of the Small Business Development Center at Pittsburg State University announced that the organization’s Leadership Academy is now accepting applications. “Several from Bourbon County have been through that,” Richards said. According to Richards, the Academy allows local business owners to network with other like-minded individuals in the area.
  • Gina Findley announced the upcoming United Way fundraiser Zombie Run 5K to be held September 13th. “It’s going to be really fun–it’s at nighttime,” Findley said. According to Findley, the runners will be chased by costumed “zombies.”
  • Allen Warren of the Bourbon County Fair Board announced the tractor pull rescheduled for August 23rd. “We tried with the grader to move the mud off the track–there was too much mud,” Warren said of the track’s condition the week of the fair.
  • Mercy Hospice Case Manager Kim Toff announced several Mercy Hospice-related items. “We have grown considerably over the last year,” Toff said. According to Toff, Hospice has assisted over 70 patients and their families. Toff explained that after the passing of a loved one, Mercy Hospice stays in contact with the family for 13 months afterwards to help them deal with the grieving process. In addition, the Hospice has helped several terminally ill patients experience their hobbies once again. Workers made it possible for one patient, a former racing driver, to get back on the track at a Kansas City Speedway for a day.

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