Rooks County Health Center (RCH) employees have a long history of giving back to the communities in this area. This year they set themselves a lofty goal of providing even more community service hours than ever before, and easily surpassed that goal.
RCH employees challenged themselves to provide 5,000 hours of their time to give back to their community before the end of 2019. They surpassed that goal before the end of November. In addittion, hospital staff holds several fundraisers every year to aid county food pantries and provide Christmas gifts to for area children who might not otherwise have any presents.
The community service involved dozens of different areas of volunteering, including engaging in food drives to help those who are food insecure, providing meeting spaces at no cost to community service entities, serving on county economic development committees, participation in community events such as parades and fairs, conducting free health screenings and CPR instruction, working at school functions, involvement in church activities and service in volunteer fire departments and EMS, to name just a few.
Through monthly “Casual for a Cause” days, RCH and Post Rock Family Medicine (PRFM) employees donated hundreds of dollars and hundreds of pounds of non-perishable foods for the food pantries in Stockton and Plainville. In one instance this summer, the Plainville food pantry was dangerously low on supplies. The call went out to RCH and PRFM staff and stepped up to donate 500 pounds of food and over $150 in cash collected in less than two days. RCH supported the Ministerial Alliance by providing free lunches during one summer week for students who were in food insecure situations. The annual “Pumpkins for Pantries” pumpkin decorating contest brings in over $1,000 every October that is split between the two food banks.
The annual Christmas basket raffles bring in over $2,000 a year. Over $14,500 has been raised over the last 7 years with 100% of the proceeds going to buy Christmas gifts for children in Rooks County who might otherwise be going without that year.
This year RCH and PRFM employees began assisting a program to help children transition from an abusive home situation to a safe foster home by donating toys and necessities.
This program was started by Blake and Abigail McKeever from Penokee, Kansas. Blake and Abi are foster parents in Graham County and realized that as the children they fostered arrived to their home, most of the time they had nothing but the clothing they wore. This inspired the First Night Stay Bag Project, where backpacks are filled with blankets, toys and toiletries to give to children entering into foster care on their first day.
RCH and PRFM employees rallied to the cause immediately and donated nearly 60 pounds of bags, toys, and toiletries in just a few days.
By donating their money and volunteering their time and their skills, RCH employees continue to lead the way not only in providing the best possible healthcare in the area, but in giving back directly to their communities.