Soldiers overseas will receive games, toiletries, snacks and more, thanks to an effort by a new staff-led team at St. Mary Medical Center.
The Hobart hospital, which is part of Community Healthcare System, formed the Give Back Committee earlier this year. “We work together not only for community outreach, but to give back to our staff,” said Connie Behling, Oncology nurse manager, who also oversees the hospital’s Outpatient Infusion Center.
Behling chairs the committee, which comprises members from nursing leadership. They meet monthly and discuss ways to show staff appreciation and to support the community.
“Our employees have been steadfast through COVID, and we want them to know we recognize their dedication and we value them,” Behling said.
The committee planned Nurses Week festivities, distributed Bundt cakes for Easter and shared cookies with staff for National Cookie Day.
The idea to ship care packages to overseas soldiers was born of a committee brainstorm. “We were involved with one of our chaplains who sent us a list of all the things that the troops usually need,” Behling said. “We sent the list throughout the hospital, and donations poured in from multiple departments. They gave whatever they could so we could send the soldiers what they need.”
Staff members formed an assembly line at the end of July and packed the donations into boxes. The boxes were delivered to a chaplain who will ship the donations to a military unit for distribution.
The next project will be to partner with the hospital’s Christian Awareness Committee for a food drive, with donations supporting a local food pantry.
For more information about the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, visit COMHS.org.