The Hospital Thrift Shop presented its annual gift to Nantucket Cottage Hospital on Monday, continuing its 89-year tradition of generous giving with a $386,000 contribution that will be used to purchase new medical equipment and other capital items, as well as handmade furniture for the new hospital.
The members of the Hospital Thrift Shop Board of Directors presented Nantucket Cottage Hospital president and CEO Dr. Margot Hartmann with a check on Monday following another successful season in business on India Street. The $386,000 gift represents one of the Thrift Shop’s largest annual contributions in nearly nine decades of steadfast support of the hospital.
“The Board is thrilled to be able to present this check to the hospital,” said Brenda Williams, the President of the Thrift Shop’s Board of Directors. “We want to express our gratitude to our management, all of our volunteers, and the many donors and shoppers who made this possible.”
The Hospital Thrift Shop sells merchandise donated by island residents and visitors – anything from used books to furniture to artwork – from mid-May through mid-October, and operates as a separate non-profit organization. With a small staff, a stalwart team of volunteers, and a dedicated Board of Directors, The Thrift Shop remains a favorite for island residents and visitors both in terms of donations toward a worthy cause and as a shopping destination. The 2018 season marked its 89th year in business on India Street.
“Most small rural hospitals could only dream of receiving a gift like this, let alone a donation of this magnitude that comes every year,” said Dr. Hartmann. “The Thrift Shop truly harnesses the generosity and energy of our island community through donations of goods, the volunteers, staff and board members, as well as the shoppers, who all make this happen. On behalf of everyone at the hospital, we are so grateful.”
The new equipment that will be purchased by the hospital with this year’s donation from the Thrift Shop includes an EKG machine, a defibrillator, an ultrasound device, a trauma stretcher, a CPR machine, a portable digital X-ray machine, a cooling/warming blanket system, a platelet incubator/agitato system, as well as a TUG robot system and new workflow software.
In addition, the Thrift Shop is funding the creation of handmade furniture for the new hospital that will be crafted out of the wood from the two large beech trees that had to be taken down in order to build the new hospital. The old trees were skillfully milled by islander Sam Myers and have been cured over the past two years in the workshop of Barber & Sons, Inc., an island woodworking and building company. In an effort to repurpose these two beloved trees, the hospital has contracted with Nate and Beau Barber who are now working to create tables and benches for the second-floor lobby and dining area of the new building.
The Thrift Shop was founded in 1929 when a group of dedicated volunteers came together to provide affordable clothes and household goods to the island community. Its first gift to the hospital that year was $603. Since then, the Thrift Shop has given more than $4 million to the hospital. Many have contributed to this success: residents who donate gently used items, shoppers who get great deals, numerous volunteers who devote substantial time and energy, and a manager and staff who run the daily operation of this thriving organization. It’s a tradition that continues to generate great returns for the community by providing affordable goods and for the hospital by providing ongoing financial support that will benefit Nantucket patients into the future.
The Thrift Shop has requested in return for its efforts that island residents remember to donate gently used clothes and household items that are no longer needed. Donations from the community are critical to ensure the Thrift Shop’s continued success.