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Beebe thanks Conley's UMC Thrift Shop volunteers
Conley's United Methodist Church Thrift Shop gives back to the community in many ways, including a portion of gross sales to local charitable organizations. Recipients are selected monthly by volunteers who give so generously of their time to run the shop. In 2016, over $1,800 was tithed to support Beebe Healthcare. Volunteers designated these gifts to the Better Breathers Pulmonary Rehab Program, Breast Health and the Tunnell Cancer Center.
On Jan. 16, volunteers gathered over lunch to celebrate their service to this ministry. I had the pleasure of sharing the Beebe Medical Foundation's gratitude for their generosity, and they shared their gratitude for Beebe with me.
"Last year when Gene and I were selected, we designated the tithe to support the Better Breathers program because I'm a member," said Kathie Meredith. "I've been attending the Better Breathers program for four years, and Beebe's pulmonary techs are really caring. Kathi Dayton, Joanne and Andrea call us every month, arrange speakers and ask us what we want to learn more about. The group is like an extension of our doctors. They answer our individual questions and everyone in the group learns together.
"We have different doctors, nutritionists and exercise therapists as guest speakers. You'd be surprised how many different lung diseases there are. We are encouraged to try the pulmonary rehab program and different breathing exercises. Some members of the group are reluctant to go on oxygen, but through this group you can learn from others who are on oxygen. This is just one of many patient groups that Beebe Healthcare supports with outreach and services. When my name was pulled for the thrift store tithe, I knew it was time to give back to the Better Breathers."
Nancy Miller, another volunteer, shared the story of when her daughter had hand surgery at the Outpatient Surgery Center on Route 24. "The nurses were so amazing, so very nice. They kept everything light, even though it was pretty serious stuff. They gave us a packet with discharge instructions and inside there was a big card, signed by all of the nurses, saying how nice it was to take care of my daughter. I can't say enough about Beebe. You know everyone really cares about you. There are so many other places you go where you are treated like just another patient. At Beebe you know that you matter, you are important, and they are going to take really good care of you."
J.J. Ludwig added, "My husband and I moved to Delaware four and half years ago. Two and half years ago, I started volunteering at Conley's Thrift Shop. I love it! It's more than a thrift shop, it's a ministry. There are times people come in just for a hug or to have someone to talk with. I've seen so many different things in the thrift shop. We have helped the homeless who are living in cardboard boxes behind the shopping center. Charlie will make calls to find them shelter. I've also met people who have cancer. They come to the thrift shop just looking to feel a connection with another human being. We make incredible connections, and these people also minister to me.
"My brother-in-law was the CEO of a medical technology company and a member of the board of directors of a hospital in New Jersey. When we moved down here, he checked out Beebe Healthcare and told us, 'Your hospital is excellent - you've got a great little community hospital, and it is growing.'
"Beebe has done so much for so many people that I know. I've been to Beebe twice with one neighbor. The nurses on the second floor were just wonderful, and took tremendous care of him. Another neighbor had a procedure on her carotid artery, and a different neighbor who works in the cardiac cath lab actually took care of her. My friends have done very well at Beebe.
"This is what I love about living in our little beach community. At our thrift shop and our hospital, both are full of great people. We came here from the city to get away from the hustle and the bustle. Down here it's all about people looking out for each other, taking care of each other. It's all about love and care.
"You've got to have a good hospital. When you get older, it's the No. 1 thing you need. Beebe is a growing hospital, too. I want Beebe to be there for all of the people who will need it in the future. The more money that can go to the hospital, the better it will be able to grow. That's why I decided to direct my tithe to Beebe again this month. We need a good hospital and Beebe's there for us!" said Ludwig.
Thank you again to Charlie Marshall and all of the volunteers at Conley's United Methodist Church Thrift Shop. As a community-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe continues to depend on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts, large or small, to Beebe Healthcare, are tax deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and share your amazing stories with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption: Celebrating Excellent Care at Conley’s Thrift Shop are (l-r) John Ovens, Betty Hudson, Debbie Sellers, Michael Alonzo, Mary Lou Sabbi, Jean Unruh, Charlie Marshall, and Adam Kubala.