CHI Health Immanuel opens 'store' with staff-donated items for patients in need

May 2024
CHI Health Immanuel in Omaha, Nebraska, has opened a "shop" where patients who are in need can get a variety of items at no cost. This includes clothes, toiletries, baby supplies and food.

Patients of CHI Health Immanuel in Omaha, Nebraska, who need basic necessities now can get those items at no cost in the hospital's new space called The Community Corner.

CHI Health Immanuel staff who were instrumental in creating The Community Corner gather at the space's ribbon cutting. They are, from left, Interim President Anthony Ashby, nursing manager Beth Guerreiro, recreation therapist Tami Treloggen, and Senior Human Resources Business Partner Lynnette Zepeda.

Staff members donate the items for the store. The stock includes a variety of essentials like shoes and clothing for adults and children, toiletries, diapers and other baby supplies, home cleaning products and food.

The items are for poor and vulnerable patients. Hospital staff now can coordinate with patients and their families to visit The Community Corner and pick out the items they want before the patients' discharge from CHI Health Immanuel.

Lynnette Zepeda, senior human resources staff member at CHI Health Immanuel, said in a press release about The Community Corner that for years the hospital's staff has quietly maintained a collection of essentials to give to patients who are in need. "It was important to us to create an official space for people to come and pick things out for themselves, to feel a sense of dignity and belonging," she said.

Plans call for CHI Health Immanuel to host seasonal collection drives to address specific needs like backpacks in the fall and coats in the winter.

CHI Health Immanuel created The Community Corner in space left vacant when the hospital moved its chapel to a new location in 2022. Stained glass windows from the chapel remain in The Community Corner.


Copyright © 2024 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.