2013-08-01 / Front Page

Wanted: Volunteers For “Happy Place”

Medical Center seeking help to operate gift shop
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


Helen Overly helps oversee the daily operations of Fulton County Medical Center’s gift shop, arranging items for sale in the shop that earmarks its proceeds for the hospital's Foundation. Helen Overly helps oversee the daily operations of Fulton County Medical Center’s gift shop, arranging items for sale in the shop that earmarks its proceeds for the hospital's Foundation. NEWS EDITOR

Perched upon her stool behind the gift shop counter, Helen Overly watches hospital staff, patients and friends and families of patients walk the hallways of the Fulton County Medical Center. Even as they pass by awaiting news of a loved one or heading to an appointment, Overly knows they’ll be back.

As a “happy place” filled with a variety of knickknacks guaranteed to lift anyone’s spirits, the gift shop, sponsored by Country Care Midwifery, offers something for everyone, whether it be a get well card, newspaper, hot beverage or inspirational reading. Soon to be celebrating its two-year anniversary, the gift shop is certainly not lacking for baubles and unique, one-of-a-kind gifts but is indeed falling short of sufficient volunteers to continue operating.

Currently overseen by Overly and her staff of 12 dedicated volunteers, the gift shop is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with all proceeds from sales benefiting the Medical Center Foundation. Unfortunately, looking at the weekly sign-up roster, many four-hour shifts and in some instances days are without help. The result is a darkened gift shop that can’t open its doors to offer a stuffed animal to an ailing child or a trinket to brighten someone’s day.

Overly noted the gift shop serves two purposes – making money for the Foundation and serving as a small bright spot for visitors. “It’s a good way for people to volunteer with the hours turning into revenue for the Foundation,” she said.

Overly stated working in the shop is a relatively easy task and requires little training. Applicants should have good people skills and be able to handle a cash register. Interested residents can inquire about lending a hand by contacting Wendy Farling at the hospital at 717-485-6116 or Overly at 485-4705.

Overly went on to note the gift shop will host an open house on Friday, August 23, to help commemorate the shop’s two-year anniversary. Light refreshments will be served, an all visitors will receive a small token of thanks.

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