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VAC Corner
VAC Corner, August, 2018

The auxiliary at Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland is grateful to have a thrift boutique located in the hospital to help with their fundraising efforts. Initially, the hospital allowed the auxiliary to use the parking lot for their annual “nearly new” sale. The profits were so good that the hospital gave the auxiliary two rooms to open a thrift shop on May 1, 1992. The shop is located around the corner from the gift shop in the corridor toward the cafeteria. Franklin Square helped the Auxiliary renovate and gave them a closet area next to the shop for storage. The shop’s customers are both staff associates and visitors. Many customers live in the area and are familiar with the shop.  The auxiliary gives customers a card describing how profits are distributed to the hospital and how their donations can help with fundraising. The thrift shop is open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm with a total of sixteen volunteer staff members. Several early birds enjoy opening the shop at 9am but two volunteers work shifts of 10-1pm or 1-4pm. Others work all day.

The Auxiliary collects items from staff, visitors, toddler swaps and consignment exchange events.  Every month, especially at the end-of-season sales, donations are made from the shop to neighborhood parishes, homeless shelters and fire victims. Clothing is also available to patients who may need an outfit. For instance, last year the Auxiliary was able to provide clothing to 243 patients and help the Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas. On occasion, a staff member will request books, dolls or stuffed animals for patients who need them. The shop makes an average of $30,000 per year and the associates and visitors enjoy getting away from their bedsides to look around the shop and chat with the volunteers.

Marlene Cochran
AHVRP 2018 Volunteer Advisory Council (VAC) Member
Auxilian/Volunteer
Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center
Baltimore, MD

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