Trees of Giving Provide Needed Gifts to Broadlawns Patients
Des Moines, December 11, 2008 – No one really knows where the gifts come from. Scarves. Mittens. Boots. Sacks of food. Sometimes the gifts are wrapped; sometimes they just hang on the tree. What is certain is that each time the gifts run low, they somehow are replenished quickly.
Connie Rainey, manager of Broadlawns Medical Center Academy and Interpreting Services, said the idea for the Trees of Giving came from some employees about five years ago. “We had been decorating the Christmas tree in the hospital with traditional ornaments, when someone suggested we decorate it with things that the people who come to Broadlawns could use, Rainey explained. “It was such a success the first year, that we now have two trees in hospital waiting areas and one in the Family Health Center.”
Rainey said they have purposefully retained a lack of structure with the trees over the years. Any one can take whatever they need from the tree. No questions are ever asked. It is assumed that anyone who takes something from the tree needs it for themselves or for someone else.
“The other day, I heard a mother ask her young son if his mittens were too tight,” Rainey said. “When he confirmed that they were, the mother allowed her son to select a new pair of mittens from the tree. He was so excited. That’s what this is all about.”
Donating gifts to the tree is just as easy as taking them. Anyone can come in and help decorate the Tree of Giving by adding gifts on the tree or under it. Gifts need not be wrapped, but if they are, a few pieces of information will help ensure that the gift is matched with just the right person. A statement can simply indicate that the item is for a girl, boy or adult and the size, if that’s appropriate.
Anyone wishing to donate gifts to the Broadlawns Trees of Giving may drop them off at the lobby inside the main entrance to the hospital. The trees will be in place through the holidays.
With a history that reaches back to 1903 as a community health center, Broadlawns Medical Center first opened its doors as a hospital to the residents of Polk County on April 13, 1924.
Over the years, Broadlawns has adapted to the changing demands of public health care, yet remained true to its mission of offering quality health services to all Polk County residents and training tomorrow’s health care professionals.
Today, Broadlawns Medical Center is composed of:
- An acute care community hospital serving medical, surgical, mental health and primary care needs.
- A 60-member physician practice overseeing numerous specialty clinics and outpatient services including primary care, advanced foot and ankle health, amputation prevention, family health, pediatrics and dental.
- A family medicine residency program that graduates physician leaders who today serve throughout Iowa and across the United States.
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