Some of the Helping Hands partners at Texas County Memorial Hospital were recognized Friday for giving 3,646 in donations to the Healthcare Foundation since the program's inception.

Texas County Memorial Hospital employees was honored last week for giving more than $63,000 to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation through the “Helping Hands” donor program.

Employees were honored with a cornerstone under the foundation’s gift recognition tree. An engraved cornerstone on the “Tree of Life” — the organization’s gift recognition tree in the hospital’s front lobby — commemorated the donation. Those making $50,000 donations are recognized with an engraved cornerstone. The Helping Hands are the first donors to receive the honor.

Also on Friday, foundation board members gathered to recognize all hospital employees with a barbecue lunch, including some giveaways for the 127 employees that are giving partners in Helping Hands. About 140 employees attended the luncheon, which was open to all employees, even those who are not members of the program.

Helping Hands Partners began in July 2006 as a way for hospital employees to give back to the hospital. Through a set payroll deduction amount or one-time giving, TCMH employees make donations to the foundation.

Helping Hands donations total about $730 per pay period, reaching more than $18,900 a year. Jay Gentry, director of the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, noted that with each pay period, the accumulated donations from employees continue to climb.

“The Helping Hands Partners donations truly are the cornerstone of the healthcare foundation,” Gentry said. “We are grateful for the continued and unwavering support of the foundation’s mission.”

Donations from employees in the Helping Hands program are “undesignated,” meaning they go into the general fund of the foundation to help with educational scholarships for healthcare professionals, to support health-oriented community events and to assist with equipment or service needs for TCMH.

In the past 12 months, the foundation has donated $26,620 to purchase new televisions for patient rooms, a glider rocker for the obstetrics department, new treadmills for the TCMH Fitness Center and peripheral artery disease screening machine.

“The foundation could not have made those purchases to help children, women and men in our area without the generosity of our Helping Hands partners,” Gentry said.

Foundation board members also utilize money from the program to help TCMH employees in “crisis” situations due circumstances like a family death or a medical emergency.

In 2009, foundation board members agreed to set aside up to 30 percent of the Helping Hands donations to assist TCMH employees in need or in crisis situations. In the past 12 months, $4,921 has been given back to employees in crisis situations from the Helping Hands partners donations.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, noted that employees have been known for their generosity to many community needs.

“Our employees are known for their generosity in giving to their fellow employees and in donating time and funds to area community efforts,” Murray said. “I am very proud of the way our employees have generously given to foundation, which shows their support and dedication to their own workplace.”

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation has special signage in the hospital’s main hallway that recognizes employee donors at $500 and $1,500 levels. There are 22 employees that have donated $500 or more. Six employees that have donated $1,500 or more.



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