The Roundup -

Caring Corner

More Than Just a Gift Shop

 

Pictured above are the very valuable volunteers at The Caring Corner Gift Shop. Back Row (L to R) Manager Diana Meehan, Edna Rambur, Rae Jean Kimble, Pearl Reichenbach, Clarice Opsta, Ellen Rasmussen, Kathy Iversen, Sharon Rau, Joan Bell, Pat Winter, Karolyn Harper, Mary Ann Steinbeisser, Janice Norby and Bernie Casey. Front Row (L to R) Mary Jeane Johnson, Helen Sturgis, Darlene Hurley, Linda Wick, Doris Goebel, Deanna Stambaugh, Shirley Maltese, Audrey Herman. Not pictured: Pat Cundiff, Evelyn Poff, Judy Pierce, Lynette Leininger, Margaret Seitz, Ruth Pederson, Mary Forrester, Delores Barnhart and Deniece Schwab.

Although it began as a Christmas store, the Caring Corner Gift Shop at Sidney Health Center has evolved to be a very unique boutique style store with a good cause.

Started by Kay Ashcraft, the Christmas store was originally run out of a small office but became so popular it quickly grew to offer more than just Christmas stuff.

Kathy Iversen played a huge part in getting the gift shop to where it is now. After managing the store for 17 years, she retired and now continues to volunteer her time at the store. The current manager, Diana Meehan, took over from Iversen. The manager is the only paid position associated with the Caring Corner Gift Shop, as it primarily operates with valuable help from volunteers.

The gift shop, which is considered a non-profit organization, does not keep any profits as it donates 100% of the profits back to the hospital which helps fund many projects for the hospital, both large and small. Last year they were able to donate $225,000 to the first phase of the new Cancer Center, while the year prior they donated $110,000 for the purchase of a new sterilization machine for the surgery department. Along with those big projects, they also donate to help fund new equipment throughout the hospital, including Healthworks.

Supporting Sidney Health Center is enjoyable, as you shop at this boutique style gift shop. As manager Meehan stated, “its not your typical hospital gift shop.” It carries unique items including jewelry, decorations, clothing and shoes, just to name a few.

As a matter of fact, the gift shop offers such a variety it has its own following, with loyal shoppers from surrounding towns including Froid, Medicine Lake and Glendive. The amount of support from the community of Sidney comes up second only to the employees of Sidney Health Center.

None of this would be possible without the extremely loyal group of volunteers. Volunteers work in the store at least once a month, while some volunteer once or twice a week.

There are currently 29 volunteers, most of whom have volunteered for quite some time. Some have actually been with the shop since its beginning. Shifts are three and half hours each, and include running the till, assisting customers and keeping up the store. Along with the 29 regular volunteers, there are a few who also volunteer sporadically to help with inventory, pricing and organizing.

Gift shop manager Meehan stated that she has “very little turn around” with her volunteers as it’s a “very fun place to be.”

The Caring Corner Gift Shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 4 pm.

Following its beginnings, the Caring Corner Gift Shop hosts an annual Christmas Extravaganza the second week of November.

The gift shop also hosts a ‘Christmas in July’ sale in the Sidney Health Center lobby where they sell the prior year’s Christmas leftovers at 75% off. This is a garage sale type event to prepare for the next season’s décor.

To volunteer at The Caring Corner, call Diana Meehan at 488-2122.

Caring Corner is located in the Sidney Health Center next Clininc Pharmacy.

The Caring Corner Gift Shop also has a sister-store here in Sidney, The Good Cents Store, which also donates its profits back to Sidney Health Center. Watch for this as the feature story in June’s edition of the Golden Roundup.

Sidney Health Center offers numerous volunteer opportunities besides the Caring Corner Gift Shop. There are currently around 120 volunteers throughout the facility. Other departments where they serve include: chaplains, food service, activities at Extended Care and The Lodge facilities, the Good Cents Store, as well as providing and making baby burpers and hats for the Obstetrics department.

 

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