Thursday, December 04, 2014

Half Price Books Donations to VA Hospital

DAV Coffee Cart Volunteers
Last month, Cyril and the manager of Half Price Books in Tukwila got talking and the store decided to donate some remaindered of books to the VA Hospital in Seattle; all we had to do was pick them up and drop them off. After talking it over with Volunteer Services (the branch of the Hospital that manages donations) we picked up a load of about six boxes. First I took a box to the DAV coffee cart in the basement; suggested I use the supply trolly to move the rest. Here's a picture of two volunteers ( we don't take pictures of patients or staff, because of privacy)
Spinal Cord Unit Waiting Area
There are two main book carts in the building lobbies. While I was stocking one, someone from the Spinal Cord Unit asked if they could have some for their waiting area (there are a great many waiting areas through out the hospitals, in the various clinics). I made a little display on the table there. I then went on the the Community Living Center, where they have shelves.
When I returned, I saw lots of people carrying books. One patient in a wheelchair had four in his lap; he seemed very pleased. As one of the guys at the coffee cart said, they get more than 5,000 people a day going through the building, and many of them would like a little reading material for while they are waiting. I stopped by Half-Priced on the way home to show them these pictures. They did a good thing and were happy to see the result. Everyone wins!
A couple of weeks pass, and we hear from Half Price again. Time for another pickup.
Holy cow - there was a dozen boxes! At more than 40 pounds apiece, that was a lot of schlepping! Fortunately the loading dock staff let us use a flatbed. It was with the confidence of youth that we slung the boxes onto the loading dock, but with the bodies of a somewhat more advanced age that we started moving thereafter.
As we distributed the stock, we ran into the volunteers who were taking books to patient rooms; we had a good conversation about coordinating operations, as they made a selection for the patients they were serving.
I had thought that 12 boxes would be hard to distribute, but after about an hour we had 12 empty boxes. It's not surprising that with thousands of veterans and family members moving through this hospital every day, in addition to the many guests at the CLC and SPU, the book donations moved quickly.
Thanks Half Price Books!
Cyril and a book cart

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