WMC provides holiday shopping for staff, community alike

Winchester Medical Center Gift Shop volunteers Polly Lock, left and Brenda Long stand beside handmade wreaths. Ashley Miller/Daily

The two gift shops at Winchester Medical Center do more than serve the community with a great selection of unique gifts for every occasion. For many of its staff, it’s an oasis, a calm in their busy day that allows them to leave the operating rooms, intensive care units or nurseries to pick up a few holiday gifts.

Joy Dovel, supervisor of the Auxiliary Gift Shops at the medical center, said Christmas is the busiest time of the year.

“Like all businesses, we see heavier foot traffic coming and going from both shops in the hospital,” Dovel said. But the influx is not just hospital staff, she explained. “We also have a large following in the community.”

The Auxiliary Gift Shops offer customers a wide selection of gift items. From jewelry, to flowers, to the sometimes-necessary quick snack, Dovel tries to carry something for everyone.

“For many of our staff members, they work 12- to 13-hour shifts, three to four times a week,” Dovel said. “They simply don’t have the time or the energy to necessarily go out after work and shop.”

So, Dovel and her staff have brought the gifts to them.

“We see a lot of nurses come in and pick up a quick little something for a co-worker or friend while they’re on their lunch break,” Dovel said. “But we also have many regular customers who come in and buy our handmade cards,” she added.

Dovel said a few of the top holiday finds this year are handmade wreaths, ponchos, Willow Tree figurines and home décor.

The supply of holiday cheer is endless due in part to the gift shops’ many volunteers. Doris Trant, executive director of volunteer services for the medical center said, they wouldn’t be able to do what they do without their volunteers.

“We have over 800 volunteers who give so much to this hospital,” Trant said. “Every day we count our blessings for them and their hard work.”

Over the next eight years, proceeds from gift shop sales will go to the Cancer Center.

“Our goal is $100,000,” Trant said. Both she and Dovel are confident they will surpass it.

Winchester Medical Center, South Tower, is located in the main lobby of the hospital’s south tower. Winchester Medical Center’s North Tower gift shop is located near the emergency room and mother/baby units.