Giving Back

I didn’t say a whole lot about it at the time, but over Thanksgiving, while up in Oregon, there was a hospital stay. The hospital had recently undergone a remodel/upgrade, and the patient rooms were fantastic. Comfortable for visitors, with amenities meant to make stays easier for patients, including a DVD/VCR combo in each room. My sister, managing a video store as she does, has the rockin’ video collection you’d expect of someone with that job, so we brought a bag full of movies to help pass the time.
When we got there to visit, my friend was meeting with the doctor and so my sister and I could not go into the room. We sat out in the waiting area on the floor, and given that it was a quiet-ish morning, a few of the nurses struck up a conversation with us. They saw the bag of movies we had brought with us and said that they were trying to start a lending library of movies for patients to watch, and that they only had about 5 titles. Both my sister and I voiced that we had certain movies in two formats, having replaced our VHS copies with DVD. I said I’d be happy to send them to the hospital.
When I was leaving on the last day, one of the nurses I had talked to approached me and handed me two business cards for the hospital and said simply “In case you still want to send us those movies.”
Here we are three months later and I see that card on my bathroom counter almost daily. But now I can look at it and smile, because several points in the universe converged over the weekend and enabled something great to happen.
A few weeks ago, my friend Dee told me that she and her husband had gone through and gotten rid of all of their VHS movies. I asked what she was going to do with them, and she said she didn’t really have a plan, that she’d probably give them to a thrift store or put them on Freecycle. I asked if she’d give them to me instead, and explained about the hospital. She said yes, absolutely, and when I was over at her place and she gave me two boxes of movies, one fairly large box and one smaller box. As we carried them to the car, I remembered that my sister and her husband had driven down from Bend for the weekend, and would be returning Monday. They needed to come by my house anyway to return something they had borrowed, so I called her up and asked if she remembered about the hospital and the movies, and if she’d mind driving the box home and taking it to the hospital.
I spent the early part of Sunday indexing all the movies into an Excel spreadsheet. I pulled out all the anime and the home recordings, but was still left with a good 55 movies. I added the movies I had duplicates of, and the Ice Age DVD that I bought but don’t like and never watch. I also dusted the boxes because my hands felt sticky and gritty after handling them all, and isn’t that just what a hospital needs- dusty video cases. All in all my sister picked up 62 videos to be taken up to the hospital.
I feel really good. When my friend was in the hospital, I felt really helpless. The nurses and the hospital staff were so wonderful to me, and to my friend and my family. It feels good to be able to give something back to the staff there, but also to give something to the patients and their friends in the future to maybe make their experiences a little bit more bearable.

2 thoughts on “Giving Back

Comments are closed.