GRH Share the Love.jpg

Hundreds of donations fill a room in February 2021 at Grande Ronde Hospital, La Grande. Hospital employees collected the items as well as greeting cards for residents at assisted living facilities in La Grande.

LA GRANDE — Grande Ronde Hospital employees recently extended hands of assistance to many La Grande seniors they may never meet.

The hospital’s employees, as part of their Share the Love program, donated almost 400 items and sent 200 signed cards to the residents at Post Acute Rehab, Wildflower Lodge and Grande Ronde Retirement Residence. The items included large-print word search puzzles, crossword puzzles, craft kits, art supplies, socks and tissues. The cards delivered messages of kindness and support.

The GRH Employee Activities Committee collected and prepared the donations over the course of two weeks. Committee member Stephanie Roy said it was particularly important at the time to reach out to the seniors because the COVID-19 pandemic prevented visitations at assisted living centers.

“With COVID-19 we thought it was important to share love with individuals who have not been able to see loved ones regularly,” said Roy, GRH’s administrative services coordinator.

Roy, Jon Rankin of GRH’s maintenance staff and Jaimie Bingham, a certified medical assistant, delivered the items to the assisted care centers. Bingham and Felicia Shanks, both on the GRH Activities Committee, suggested the idea for the Share the Love effort, which used nine drop boxes at Grande Ronde Hospital and its clinics to collect the items. The outpouring of support struck Roy.

“This shows that GRH employees are full of care and want to give back to the community,” she said.

Lucy Thompson, the resident program director at Wildflower Lodge, said the donations were a hit.

“Our residents are so grateful,” she said.

Thompson said she knew the items were coming but the number of donations surprised her, and the art and craft supplies are especially popular. She said Wildflower’s residents love them.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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