Washington Hospital Employees Make a Difference
Employee Association Pitches in to Give Women’s Shelter a Facelift
Celebrated on the fourth Saturday in October each year, Make a Difference Day was started by USA Weekend Magazine and is held in partnership with the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network. The power of the day is in individuals making small changes for the better.
"We want to give back to the community we live and work in,” says Mary Kinnear, president of WHEA. "
The safe house can accommodate 30 women and children at a time and is run by SAVE (Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments), a nonprofit agency that serves victims of domestic violence in the Tri-City area. Women can stay at the shelter for up to 90 days.
Women and their children end up at the shelter when their situations have taken a turn for the worse. The shelter provides emergency assistance to those fleeing abusive relationships at a confidential location.
SAVE works to end the cycle of violence through support services, advocacy and education. The agency operates a 24-hour crisis line staffed with specially trained family violence counselors who can offer emotional support, crisis intervention counseling and information referral.
Hospital Treats Victims of Violence
"Our Emergency Department sees firsthand what domestic violence does to the women and children who live with it,” Kinnear says.
At the shelter, women and their children receive emergency food, clothing, and transportation to help them in the short-term. SAVE also provides services to help them get back on their feet in the longer-term, such as counseling and assistance with legal issues, employment and housing.
"This will really spruce up the shelter. We’re very grateful,” said Leslie McGarry, development officer at SAVE. "It feels better to be in a nice place, especially at a traumatic moment in your life. This will help us make it more comfortable, welcoming and warm.”
The shelter has seven bedrooms and four bathrooms. The common living area consists of a kitchen, living room and den.
To learn more about SAVE, visit www.save-dv.org. To reach the crisis hotline, call (510) 794-6055.
WHEA Gives All Year Long
The Washington Hospital Employee Association supports many charitable organizations including: The Salvation Army, Tri-City Homeless, Tri-City Volunteers, SAVE, One Child and Rotary International by raising funds through drives and fundraising events such as the annual Fremont Festival of the Arts parking drive which brought in nearly $8,000 this year.
WHEA also uses proceeds to help support programs directly related to patient care that include the Washington Hospital Community Mammogram Program and Lymphedema Services. In 2005, WHEA raised and contributed nearly $10,000 to help support the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the Southeast Asian tsunami.
WHEA conducts several annual donation drives that have a great impact on children. This September,
"During this time of year WHEA conducts several food and clothing drives that help the less fortunate in our community.” says Kinnear. "The generosity of our employees is a great morale boost and I think as care givers, it means a lot to hospital workers to see people benefit from their donations.”
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