The holidays may be over with the start of the New Year, but that didn’t stop Henrico Doctor’s Hospital from making one last drop off at Christian Children’s Fund.
The mitten tree, which began only 7 years ago, has turned into an annual event for both patients and staff at Henrico Doctor’s.
“We started doing it because we had so many patients who would bring us holiday gifts and food,”said Bonita Jones, registered nurse in cardiopulmonary rehab. “So instead, we wanted to encourage them to give back to their community through a mitten tree.”
Each holiday season, beginning as early as the day after Thanksgiving, patients at Henrico Doctor’s begin inquiring about the tree. And every year, dozens of mittens, scarves, hats and even a few blankets are brought to the rehab facility in hopes of helping others less fortunate warm up during the winter months.
After the mittens were hung on the tree with care, the staff at Henrico Doctor’s counted a total of 197 warm items for donation. A portion of these items went to the Girl Scouts and the rest, about 150 items, came to CCF.
“We love working with CCF because we know that our donation will go to children in need,” said Jones.
“One year CCF sent them to the Afghanistan and one of your employees went there to help establish a school and came back with pictures of all the children with their hands up in the air covered with our gloves. Those pictures were worth a million words.”
This year, CCF will be sending the donation to the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
The CCF and Henrico Doctor’s connection came in the form of patient care when a former CCF employee had Jones as a nurse.