“There are so many stories attached to these scrubs,” says Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton RN Dena Wenzler as she packs the clean, stacked scrub tops, pants, and jackets into boxes. “You can almost feel the impact the hospice care providers who wore them had. Over the years, our staff members have touched countless lives as they wore these scrubs, offering calming words or heartfelt hugs to both patients and family members.”
Now even more lives will be touched.
When the organization adopted new scrubs, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton staff members donated hundreds of used scrubs to a global charity. The donated scrubs will be delivered to clinicians serving in third world countries, disaster zones and pockets of poverty or need in our own country.
Dena spearheaded the effort to collect and donate the scrubs. It’s part of her on-going mission to see that medical supplies, equipment and materials find their way into the hands of others that can make meaningful use of them. “It just breaks my heart to see people throw things away because they don’t know what to do with them,” says Dena.
Dena began collecting supplies like dressings, adult diapers, wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commodes, tube feeding formula and similar medical supplies about a decade ago. Once her garage was filled, she would load up a pick-up truck and deliver the items to a charity for distribution to those in need. These days, that involves taking the donations to Matthew 25 Ministries in Blue Ash, a suburb north of Cincinnati. “I’m just one person,” Dena says. “This scrub donation project involves the entire organization and is an example of what we can do together. We can help so many people with items that otherwise just go in the trash.”
Dena is joining with Dr. Wendy Schmitz, who leads the hospice mission outreach effort to Ecuador, to involve the entire organization in stewardship designed to expand the impact that one organization can have on the planet. “Our goal is to involve the whole organization by the end of this year,” Dena explains. “There are so many things we cannot restock due to regulations. But we can donate so much of it to people who desperately need medical supplies, equipment and support.”
Dena invites those interested in becoming involved in the effort to contact her for more information. “I would love to involve the home care teams,” she says. “Once a loved one has passed, people have no idea what to do with the supplies left behind. In many cases, the grieving family members want the medical supplies removed from the home quickly. We, as an organization, could help them by collecting and donating those unused supplies. In the process we would also help so many others.”