It's one Christmas gift that really will keep on giving for quite some time. This year's Tree of Love brought in $3,710 for McDuffie Regional Medical Center. The funds will be put toward the purchase of a Stryker transport stretcher for the hospital, according to Eva Newsome, director of volunteer services and patient relations.
"We are just so grateful to the community for supporting us, especially in these bad economic times," Ms. Newsome said. "McDuffie County people always pitch in and make our tree a success."
Each Christmas, people donate money to sponsor a light on the Tree of Love to pay tribute to a deceased loved one. The annual tree-lighting ceremony also is one of McDuffie County's deep-rooted traditions.
The hospital's auxiliary sponsors the Tree of Love and uses the funds each year to purchase needed items for the hospital. Requests for needed items come from hospital personnel through department heads to the hospital auxiliary board.
"We do have a procedure to go through," Ms. Newsome said. "In the long range, something they thought was very urgent might not be as urgent after looking at the big picture."
Although this year's Tree of Love funds exceeded last year's by approximately $700, the amount isn't quite enough to pay for a Stryker stretcher, which Ms. Newsome said will cost $5,200. Money from other auxiliary fundraisers will also be used.
The auxiliary will have Regency Planning in the hospital lobby on Monday, Feb. 8 and Tuesday, Feb. 9. Regency Planning buys gold and jewelry on site. They also will sell books, jewelry and gift items. A linen sale is planned in March, and a $5 "fantasia sale" is planned for the first of April.
"So the volunteers are constantly doing something to keep funds coming in. Times are so hard right now, the hospital needs all the help they can get," Ms. Newsome said.
For more information, call (706) 595-1411.