What do coffee pots, pain-relieving heart pillows and children’s books have in common? All were generously donated by Altru Alliance to patients, visitors and our communities.
Other examples of the Alliance at work include the Home Delivered Meals program, car seats for Safe Kids Grand Forks, nursing scholarships, courtesy vehicles, blanket warmers and more. Through the years, Altru Alliance has supported Altru Cancer Center, the Suicide Prevention Walk, the Smarter Leaner Greener program (offering free rides for kids who cannot afford to ride the bus), raised gardens at Parkwood Senior Living and countless other areas across Altru and our communities.
The United Hospital Auxiliary was formed in 1971, a combination of the Deaconess and St. Michael’s Auxiliaries. RAVE (the Rehab Hospital Auxiliary) was integrated in July 1995. Following integration of the Grand Forks Clinic in 1997, the United Hospital Auxiliary changed its name to the Altru Auxiliary. In 2005, they changed their name to Altru Alliance.
The Auxiliary first gifted $2,694 in 1971, and the first major gift was $25,000 spread from 1974 – 1977 for the United Hospital Building fund.
In 1997, they reached their first million in giving. In 2005, they hit two million. Now nine years later, they’ve added another million to the total. These dollars provide services to patients and families, fund supportive activities and promote the health and welfare of our communities.
Altru Alliance Gift Shop
Altru Alliance Board President Jo Cultice says, “One of the most memorable moments in my tenure came at the end of 2012 when Susan Alexander, our Gift Shop manager, announced that for the first time, annual gross sales had exceeded half a million dollars! And the numbers just keep growing due to her expertise in management and our wonderful volunteers.”
Located near the hospital lobby, Altru Alliance Gift Shop carries a variety of gift items and home décor, as well as flowers, balloons and cards to cheer up patients and staff. The gift shop is the Alliance’s major source of funds.
Three longtime volunteers get together Wednesday mornings and arrange donated flowers to brighten patients’ stays. Jo explains, “The ladies go in and out of patient rooms on Wednesdays, saying hello. If they notice an area with no flowers, they bring one in and tell the patient to have a beautiful day, compliments of the Alliance.”
Alliance membership is open to all adults. Dues are $10 per calendar year, which support patient care programs and community wellness services. Members can:
- Volunteer in the gift shop and help in special assignment areas
- Attend programs related to health and personal well-being
- Participate in community service projects
- Serve on the Alliance Board
Active members can serve in ways best suited to their schedules, including helping with fundraising sales or community events. For those who cannot become active members, the Alliance encourages an inactive membership. This means you will receive the Alliance newsletter and are welcome to attend activities, but will not be called to volunteer.
Jo says, “The greatest benefit of being a member is knowing that you have helped to make a patient’s visit a bit more comfortable, or more pleasant, or more memorable; or that you have helped a nurse or student with their education.”
All are welcome to attend the official celebration February 27, 2014, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
For more information about Altru Alliance including upcoming events or membership, visit their webpage or call Volunteer Services at 701.780.5125.