12/04/07 — Cherry Hospital asks for donations of items, gifts for patients for holiday

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Cherry Hospital asks for donations of items, gifts for patients for holiday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 4, 2007 1:57 PM

Parties and presents are on everyone's minds at holiday time. And that is no different for the patients and staff at Cherry Hospital.

Gifts and monetary donations are being collected for those hospitalized during Christmas, so they will not be forgotten, said Tanya Rollins, special services director.

"Every Christmas we have this challenge to recruit items and gifts for all of our folks," she said. "That's what we do. That's what special services is all about."

This year's goal is to serve an estimated 250 patients from age 13 up.

The list of items is long, but primarily practical, Mrs. Rollins said. Since the population is older, toys are not requested.

She suggested phone cards and electronic games with batteries as being the most popular. Other needs include headphone replacements for computers, pre-packaged food items like candy and gum, bottled sodas, makeup for teens, Walkman radios, cassettes and CD players, watches, crossword and puzzle books, board games, toiletry items like body wash, shampoo and conditioner, nail polish and remover, Chapstick, sunglasses, foam hair rollers, men's ball caps and women's sun visors, purses, men's Velcro or tri-fold wallets, large T-shirts with prints or designs, playing cards, current music tapes and CDs, as well as tranquil music, male and female undergarments in larger sizes, and puzzles.

Gifts can be delivered, unwrapped, to the volunteer services office on the Cherry campus, and checks can be mailed to the Volunteer Services Fund, 201 Stevens Mill Road, Goldsboro, NC 27530.

Residents at the hospital also enjoy parties and events around the holiday season, said Terry Smith, volunteer services coordinator.

Mental health agencies from communities served by Cherry usually host parties throughout the campus. There is also the option of sponsoring a party and contributing toward it, allowing staff to do the rest.

"Groups unable to come out, but willing to contribute monetarily, we'll do the party in their name," Ms. Smith said.

Other festive events are also anticipated in the coming weeks, from a cantata and a dance, to a holiday bazaar affording patients the opportunity to buy gifts for family and friends. Cherry also has a "Friends of the Chaplain" program, as a way for the public to send cards to patients.

Volunteers are always welcome, Ms. Smith said. Individuals or groups are a great support, and can prove to be mutually beneficial.

"Boy and girl scout troops may need badges, for example," said Mrs. Rollins. "We can supply them documentation if they volunteer."

For more information on holiday opportunities, call Mrs. Rollins at 731-3417.