Sandhills Regional Medical Center and nearby doctor’s offices participated Friday in Blue Jeans for Haiti, a fundraiser designed to help people in Haiti who were hit by an earthquake on Jan. 12.
Employees at Sandhills Regional, and their clinics, paid $5 to “dress-down” on Friday and wear blue jeans to work as part of the Caring Committee’s Haiti Campaign.
“We’re doing it to help the people (in Haiti) while it’s in the state that it’s in,” said Toni Stoll, president of Sandhills Regional’s Caring Committee. It’s a volunteer-based committee dedicated to organizing fundraisers, both locally and worldwide.
“It’s a good way to raise some extra money,” Stoll said. “Plus everyone wants to be comfortable.”
“Our Caring Committee was already scheduled to meet to discuss fund-raisers for employees facing challenging situations in their lives when Haiti happened,” Kimberly Harrington, marketing and public relations director said. “We felt compelled to do something and Blue Jeans Friday is always a popular way to raise money at our hospital. From there, other ideas began to sprout. The campaign is going really well. One employee, Curtis Quick, and his wife donated $100 to Blue Jeans for Haiti.”
Dr. Charlita Mangrum and her office staff also participated in the fundraiser.
“It’s such a terrible tragedy,” Mangrum said. “Anything we can do, even just a little thing like wearing blue jeans on Friday, really helps.”
Mangrum said that nearly everyone on her staff worked Friday wearing jeans.
Even patients who don’t work for the hospital donated to the cause.
“He just said since he already had on blue jeans, which he usually does, he thought he’d go ahead and contribute too,” Mangrum said of one patient.
Several employees contributed more than the minimum of $5.
“We may do it even more than just today,” Mangrum said.
According to Stoll, the Caring Committee has two to three other fundraisers in planning stages to help in the Haitian recovery effort, including a T-shirt sale.
She hopes to start taking orders by next week.
“We’re going to continue raising funds for those in Haiti,” Stoll said. “But we won’t forget about those in our community.”
“What happened to the people in Haiti is certainly a tragedy, and they will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers,” Sandhills Regional Medical Center CEO, Michael Davis said. “I have personal friends who are from Haiti and one of our very own physicians, Dr. Jean Lemaire, a native of Haiti, has been affected by this as well. Sandhills Regional Medical Center is more than happy to assist in the efforts to help bring relief there.”
In addition to helping with disaster relief, their primary focus is local. They continue to raise funds for families of hospital employees, and those in connection to the hospital, who are in need of assistance.
Stoll estimated there was $250 raised by Blue Jeans for Haiti, which does not include money raised by offices outside the hospital, like Mangrum’s.
“I’ve seen people today who have never worn jeans to work, wearing them today,” Stoll said.
Staff writer Bryan Stewart can be reached at 997-3111 ext. 15 or by e-mail at email@example.com.