Family donates clothes instead of buying Christmas presents

Published 3:12 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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A Farmville resident wanted to bless the Lunenburg and Nottoway counties she serves by convincing her family to forgo Christmas presents last year to purchase clothing for patients at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s (VCU Health CMH) Emergency Department.

Kristin Cooper is appreciative of the care she and her family have received over the years at VCU Health Medical Center in Richmond and wanted to give back to the community where she works. She recalled telling her family located all over the state, “Let’s not buy things when people are hurting. Let’s do something to impact the community. How can we bless them?”

Cooper’s family discussed how people in emergency situations often go home in a hospital gown because their clothes were destroyed from trauma or being cut off to quickly administer first aid. They agreed and ended up donating $500 worth of new shirts, sweatpants, leggings, bras, underwear and socks for up to 45 women in need. They were thorough in planning to provide an assortment of sizes and thoughtful enough to recognize they needed to be comfortable items but not memorable, so as not to remind them unnecessarily of the trauma they endured.

“I know things can be so traumatic in an emergency department and to have an entire family from across the state do something so selfless, it inspires me,” Ken Kurz, director of marketing and development said. “I hope others read about this wonderful donation and want to emulate it. The world needs more kindness and caring and I want to personally thank Kristin and her family for making my day brighter and for those their gift will touch, I feel I can say thank you for them as well.”

When asked how this decision impacted her family, Cooper explained, “Of course we couldn’t gather like we normally do. People either shipped the items directly to me or sent me money to cover the items that we still needed. Everyone felt good about the cause and no one felt left out. If you’re thinking of doing something like this next Christmas, just do what makes a person feel like a person, especially when they are so down and may be at the lowest time in their life.”