Thanks to a $1,000 gift card donation from the local Meijer store, Franciscan Health Michigan City officials got a chance to shop for items to help survivors of sexual abuse who come to the hospital’s Center of Hope.
Franciscan Health’s Centers of Hope are designated spaces where victims are given one-on-one trauma care by SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) nurses trained to handle sexual assault cases. In many cases, clothes and undergarments must be taken for the forensic kit from patients who are coping with a traumatic attack.
The Center of Hope emergency clothing closet stocks replacement clothing and undergarments for these patients. The $1,000 was used to purchase not only clothing, but toiletries, snacks and blankets to fill about 10 survivor care bags.
“I am very thankful for the generous donation to our Center of Hope by our local Meijer store,” said Lori Bridegroom, RN, SANE coordinator at Franciscan Health Michigan City. “We purchased plush blankets, which will help provide comfort not only for our adult patients but our pediatric patients as well. We were also able to purchase many clothing items, including undergarments, which was probably what I was most excited about. Although these may not seem like incredibly important things, to the survivors we care for, they are. It truly is the little things that end up making a big difference,” she added.
Bridegroom was joined by Franciscan Health Michigan City Vice President of Mission Integration Sister Petra Nielsen, and by adolescent behavioral health tech Zoe Braselton tech for the shopping trip, which took place last month. Ellen Mizia, retail administrative assistant for retail operations at Meijer, assisted in securing the gift and on the shopping day.
To learn more or to donate to the Franciscan Health Foundation to support the Centers of Hope, go online at www.franciscanhealthfoundation.org/programs/center-hope or call (219) 661-3401 in Northern Indiana.