VALDOSTA  – The Volunteer Auxiliary at South Georgia Medical Center recently contributed funds for hospital-based and community projects.

Funds came from various auxiliary fundraisers. 

The Volunteer Auxilians, or Pink Ladies and Red Coats as they are called, sponsor fundraising projects at SGMC such as book sales, jewelry sales, linen sales, uniform sales and the Golden Galleria Gift Shop, hospital representatives said. 

Profit goes back into the community in the form of donations to enhance health-care services, scholarships and health-related programs. 

The auxiliary used some of its funds this year to purchase 13 Staxi wheelchairs at a cost of $16,465. Staxi wheelchairs are designed to make transport safe, secure and quiet, hospital representatives said. 

Staxi chairs are stackable, adjustable to the size and needs of patients and much easier to maneuver than traditional wheelchairs.

The SGMC Auxiliary also presented a check to the Hungry at Home project. Hungry at Home was established to bridge the gap between home and school so children do not have to be hungry while away from school. 

Jan Newton, auxiliary president, said 20 percent of families in Lowndes County are below the poverty level and struggle to meet the basic needs of their families. Many children do not receive proper meals away from school. 

The "nutritional gap" results not only in increased health risks but in diminished learning capacity and behavioral problems.

The auxiliary members contributed $1,000 to support meeting the needs of these children. Hungry at Home volunteers provide children with backpacks Friday afternoons packed with meals and snacks for the weekends. The children return the empty backpacks to school on Mondays for replenishing.

Johnny Ball, assistant administrator for communication and public affairs, said the auxiliary donates hundreds of hours annually to perform tasks and assist with fundraisers. 

“Our hospital and community benefit greatly from the services of these loyal volunteers,” he said. “For over 63 years, the Auxilians have raised money, morale and levels of care for patients and their families.”

Additional information on the auxiliary is available on the hospital’s website, www.sgmc.org/volunteer-services.

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