Featured LIFE

SR Auxiliary Unit helps with needed clothing 

Personnel from Rady Children’s Hospital receive clothing donations for patients from the Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit. (courtesy of Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit)

SR Auxiliary Unit helps with needed clothing 

By Jill Alexander

If you’ve ever been rushed to an emergency room or had to admit a family member, you know it can be chaotic. There’s always the chance that any clothing a person is wearing might be torn, ripped or stained. 

But thanks to the Rady Children’s Emergency Department Clothes Closet, individuals in need have access to new clothing.

“Patients and sometimes family members may come in with soiled or bloodied clothes, and in some cases, patients may have had their clothes cut off during an emergency procedure,” said Amy Ryan, this year’s Hospital Liaison for The Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit. “New, unused clothing items are provided to these patients and families so they have something fresh and clean to put on when leaving the hospital.”

The hospital’s departments including Emergency, Trauma, Parent Centers, and Children and Adolescent Psychiatry Services all have access to the closet to get what a patient may need. 

The Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit is one of the hospital’s 20 auxiliary units across San Diego that helps out.

“There are several auxiliary units throughout San Diego County, and they are all assigned a month to participate in this program. During our assigned month, our unit checks in with our point-of-contact at the hospital to see what items are needed. We then collaborate with our auxiliary members and supply the articles of clothing in need,” Ryan said. “We typically need shorts, T-shirts, socks, underwear and beanies in sizes from kids to mens, etc., for example.”

New items – never used – are paid for via allocated funds and “the auxiliary members get to be excited and get involved versus it just being a financial contribution.”

Ryan said to think of the process as a “baby or wedding registry” in which people can go to Amazon.com, shop and buy what is on the list of needed items.

Once the items have been purchased and delivered, they are bagged and labeled in plastic bags by size. Then each item is stocked in the closet and ready to be pulled by the department when needed for a patient. 

Much good has come out of the project. For instance, the program benefitted a boy who recently came into the ER with a fractured and skinned-up leg. Ryan said his pants were ripped and the nurse had to safely cut them off and get them off around his injury. 

“After he was ready to go home, the staff was able to utilize the donated clothes to provide him with some new shorts to go home in,” Ryan said.

Currently, the donation closet is only for auxiliary members to participate, although there are other ways members of the community can get involved with the Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary. 

Volunteers participate in service projects such as Clothes Closet throughout the year and also host fundraisers that benefit departments, programs and services at the hospital.

The Scripps Ranch Rady’s Auxiliary Unit, which has  30 active members, and 23 supporting members, holds meetings on the third Monday of every month. Follow them on facebook.com/rcha.scrippsranch, or on the website rchascrippsranch.com for more details on upcoming events.