When the Kona Community Hospital staff came together a few weeks ago to discuss giving opportunities during the holidays, employees expressed a strong interest in giving back to the West Hawaii community. They decided to collect donations for three local non-profit organizations – Hawaii Island Food Basket, Hawaii Island Humane Society and Toys for Tots.
“The holiday season is a joyous occasion and it should be shared with others, and help those who are in need,” stated Kathryn Salomon, KCH’s Director of Human Resources and Giving Program Co-Chair. “Our hope was to have our employees experience the true spirit of the holidays.”
Since the initial discussion, the hospital has collected several truckloads of donations for the Food Basket, Humane Society and Toys for Tots.
In addition, Family Support Hawaii asked the hospital to participate in their Kalikimaka No Na Keiki program. Their hope was to have the hospital sponsor at least two families. The two families skyrocketed to 26 families with a total of 39 children that were sponsored by the Admitting, Business Office, Contracts Management, Human Resources, Nursing Administration, OR, Pharmacy, Quality Assurance, Rehabilitation Services, Respiratory Therapy, and Risk Management departments, along with individual employees of the hospital. Personal contributions from the Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary volunteers were also generously made.
“It was uplifting to see departments and employees come together like this,” expressed Lisa Downing, RN, Employee Health and Infection Control Nurse Manager and Giving Program Co-Chair. “The overall outcome pleasantly surpassed our expectations and we hope to do it again next year.”
Dawn Brewer, OR Nurse Manager, commented, “We spend a lot of time at work together as an employee, as a department, and as a hospital. However, by being able to give back this way gave us a sense of community and pride. We know these are tough times so many of us just wanted to help and make a difference during this holiday season.”
Collections of new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots will continue until December 16. Donation boxes are located at both the hospital’s main entrance and Administration building.