Portland, OR (NursingSalary.org) – Two days before Christmas, Desi Shubin and Denise Fall, two registered nurses from the Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, together with some of their colleagues, paid a visit to the Loaves & Fishes Irving Street Center and donated the $7,321 they’ve raised to help keep the center open. The Oregonian shows Kathy Buss, manager of Loaves & Fishes, together with volunteers and patrons, showing their surprise and gratitude.
“That will help cover our rent for the full fiscal year,” Buss told them. “That definitely puts the happy in our new year.”
The money comes at the right time for the center, housed on the properties of the First Immanuel Lutheran Church. Loaves & Fishes was facing financial difficulties, said Joan Smith, executive director of the center, as the $300,000 yearly federal grant wouldn’t come again in 2011, and Medicaid funding had also been reduced.
When the Good Samaritan nurses heard of the hardships Loaves and Fish were facing, they decided to help.
“A lot of the people who go there are our patients,” Shubin said. “We feel this is our responsibility and a continuation of how we can care for the community.”
Shubin and Fall asked the employees from the Good Samaritan Medical Center to chip in their morning lattes and lunch money. They also cancelled the Christmas party and contributed that money to the cause.
When asked to lower their costs, Loaves and Fishes refused to reduce the number of meals served to elders. A lot of elders would have been forced to eat their lunches in Elm Court Center in downtown Portland. This is no longer necessary, as the generous grant from the Good Samaritan nurses can cover the meals for another couple of months.
In addition to the $7,000, the nurses bought hats and gloves for all patrons at the center.
Billy Clements, a regular customer of Loaves and Fishes, said he couldn’t make it without having the center to go to every day.
“I’d be in a hell of a fix,” he said. “This place has helped a lot of people in more ways than one. The people here are just really great.”
Loaves and Fishes is a non-profit and non religious affiliated philanthropic organization that provides meals and sometimes shelter to elders who are either homebound or have very low incomes.