By Marsha Sandman | CNA Media Team
Three days per week Helen Hor ton, a delightful senior citizen, leaves the easy comfort of retirement to volunteer at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center’s two gift shops.
For the past 28 years, Helen has worked behind the scenes pricing and stocking the two shops that together gross about $1 million annually.
Helen is a longtime resident of the Concordia neighborhood. That’s a long way from the small coal mining town in Wyoming where she met her husband. Three kids and seven grandchildren later, she finds joy in service.
You’ll find one gift shop in the hospital lobby. Greeted by Geoffrey, a 5-foot-tall stuffed giraffe, visitors will discover a delightful variety of gifts, cards, magazines, floral arrangements, toys and many items for newborns.
The East Pavilion lobby shop has gifts for every occasion, including seasonal home decor, clothing, jewelry, health and beauty items, creative options for babies and pets, and unique items for kids and adults.
After working 35 years in her church office Helen decided to volunteer. A four- to five-month stay at St. Vincent motivated her to “pay back” all the care and kindness she received at that time.
She started volunteering in the nutrition department and eventually transferred to the gift shops. With the exception of the manager, all staff members are volunteers.
Helen claims she was a shy person and volunteering at the gift shop has helped her a great deal. Shy no more, she was eager to discuss the gift shops and how they benefit the hospital.
All profits benefit the Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the hospital. The foundation helps fund leading-edge research, acquire the latest technology and help those less fortunate.
After living east, south, north and west, Marsha’s home at last. And she wants to hear your story. Contact her at MarshaJSandman@gmail.com.