Facebook Twitter

‘We just really wanted a way to give back’: Utah hospital creates care kits for newly homeless

SHARE ‘We just really wanted a way to give back’: Utah hospital creates care kits for newly homeless

Lone Peak Hospital employees assemble self-care kits for local homeless shelters on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. The items were gathered by the employees over the past few weeks.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

DRAPER — In this season of giving, staff from Lone Peak Hospital in Draper have decided to send a special thank you to some of their most vulnerable patients.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing people to lose their jobs, social worker Stephanie Ripley said they have seen an increased number of patients who have lost their homes.

“(They’re) looking for anything — looking for medical help, of course, and then looking for someplace warm, something to eat, things like that,” she said. “So we wanted to do something that could help them.”

They decided to make care kits, complete with warm socks, hygiene products, treats and a list of resources for the newly homeless. All supplies were donated by the hospital’s staff of about 300.

Around Thanksgiving, bins were set on each of the hospital’s floors, with a list of requested items, and then the staff went to work filling them up.

“We just really wanted a way to give back and show how much we appreciate our community and the patients that come in,” Ripley said.

“I’m just really grateful to the community for supporting us, and they’re awesome,” she said, choking up. “Everybody’s been really nice, and we just all felt like we needed to give back.”

The hospital’s goal was to make and distribute 150 kits, but while putting them together Tuesday morning, Ripley said it looked like they would exceed that number.

She hopes to distribute the care packages sometime next week to individuals who come into the hospital as well as to local shelters.

“We do something every year,” Ripley said. “It’s just something different every year, and this was the need that was seen to be most pressing this year.”

“During this pandemic, things have been stressful ... and the community has been amazing at offering their support and encouragement to us. And so we thought what better way to give back to the community that has been so supportive of us than to do something for the community.”