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Covenant Medical Center

Waterloo, Iowa

Monday, October 6, 2003

My view on Covenant Medical

Vicki in NJ

Monday, October 6, 2003 was another exciting day for TLC. Julie Saltz, her 2 daughters, Cassie and Donna, her Mother-in-law Elsie, Barbara VanDorn, Girls Scout Troop 152 and their leaders, Tammy and Clyde Lindeman of Missouri, my husband Bob and myself arrived at Covenant Medical at 10:00 am with a truck loaded with boxes that were filled with wonderful items for the babies.

We were eagerly and happily greeted by the staff of Covenant Medical and were escorted to a conference room they had reserved for the presentation. We were served donuts and coffee while the hospital staff unloaded the truck under the guidance of Julie's daughter Cassie.

The nurses and other staff, the CEO of the hospital were in complete awe of all the wonderful items that were presented to them. One nurse in particular was so anxious to be able to take some boxes to her department where they have a room where certain treatments and/or tests that are performed on the children. Treatments that might frighten a child. In this room they keep a supply of small gifts to give the child when they are done, hoping to make the child feel better after their time in this room, when this nurse saw the overwhelming supply of craft kits, she was hardly able to contain herself, she had tears in her eyes when she asked us to make sure we conveyed how grateful she is for the generosity that all TLC members have.

One nurse while looking through all the boxes made the remark to my husband that she could feel all the love oozing from the boxes, that good feelings were wafting around the room and that the hospital had been blessed by receiving these wonderful gifts.

The CEO of the hospital was totally amazed, he basically I think was in shock to learn that people who were not from his area took the time to make items for their babies.

We had the great honor of presenting two fully packed diaper bags to two babies. One was going home that day - Nicholas - and the other was given to Isabel who was going home the next day. Both babies were absolutely precious.

We were treated to a tour of the baby area, both maternity and to their Level II section. The Girl Scouts were taken on a tour of their own where they got to see many babies.

The hospital staff feels that each and everyone of you are very special and every item you have made is a treasure. We witnessed the joy in their faces, knowing that they now can give brand new gifts to the babies instead of shopping at garage sales, has made their hearts bursting with happiness.

During the presentation, Julie announced to the hospital that she is going to start a local chapter in her area to continue to service the hospital, which absolutely thrilled the staff of Covenant. In fact, some of the nurses were interested in joining together with Julie to help, which I thought was wonderful.

Ladies, Thank you ever so much for your continued dedication and generosity in helping TLC to provide for the babies, as always, you deserve a standing ovation, Bravo, another presentation well done!!!!

Vicki and Julie at the presentation

Covenant Medical Center, Waterloo, Iowa

Julie, Project Coordinator

We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 or so with my pick-up truck loaded to the gills with boxes. It was kind of funny, the two volunteers who were working at the front desk offered wheel chairs to carry in the boxes. I told them that it would take a lot of wheel chairs to get all of them in, we should probably find something bigger!

My daughter, Cassie, stayed with the truck so she could park it when they were finished unloading. A young man was standing nearby and read the label on one of the boxes. "Newborn Blankets" he said, "Can I just take the whole box, I just had a newborn!" Cassie proceeded to explain to him what was going on.

Vicki and I were inside at this time, unpacking the box she had prepared with some key items that we wanted to be sure to display. (Surgery dolls, Halloween hats, diaper bags, Christmas Stockings, etc.) The hospital staff brought in a tray of donuts and coffee for us, which was nice, but I didn't slow down long enough to enjoy any of them!

We were joined by both of my daughters, Cassie and Donna, 6 girls from Donna's Girl Scout Troop (who have worked for over a year making lovey dolls, blankets and hats), their two leaders, Vicki's wonderful husband Bob, her beautiful niece Tammy and her husband Clyde, my mother-in-law, Elsie and our dear friend and TLC member, Barbara (aka Bud4 angels).

Hospital Staff present were:
Joy Dobes, Manager of Labor and Delivery
Nancy Weber, Chief Nursing Officer
Jack Dusenbery, Chief Executive Officer
Teresa Evans, Director of Women and Children Services
Chas Mueller, Care Coordinator
Beth Bruns, Public Relations Representative

I think they were surprised at the number of boxes we brought. And then to realize how many things were packed into the boxes (more than 2000!) seemed to surprise them even more. The last time I spoke with Teresa Evans before the presentation, I told her that she wouldn't believe how many things I had received for Covenant, that I had received more than 100 packages. I think they were still surprised.

Vicki spoke and explained what TLC is all about, why we do what we do, and said it all beautifully. I'm so glad she was there, because I know I could not have done as good a job of talking as she did. We spent some time with some items being passed around the tables, looking through the boxes, "ooing and awing" over the beautiful work all of you do, amazed at how far some of the items traveled to get to Waterloo, Iowa.

We were then given a tour of the maternity ward. My children were not born here, so this was the first time I had been in that part of the hospital. The girl scouts were given a separate tour from Vicki and I. They spent a few minutes watching a preemie who had just been born within an hour or so, so they got to see first hand how tiny the babies can be. It made a huge impression on Donna, and now she understands why some of the Angel Gowns she saw were so tiny. She said she thought "how could a baby possibly be that small."

While the girls were on their tour, Vicki and I were allowed to present two diaper bags filled with goodies to two babies, a boy and a girl. Remember the young man who asked if he could have the whole box of newborn blankets.. it turned out that he was the father of the little boy who received the diaper bag! So that worked out neat. The baby was dressed and in his car seat and ready to go home with his parents, a grandmother and a great grandmother. The little girl who received the diaper bag was just born that morning. Her mother said "you're not even a day old and you're already receiving gifts!" It was sweet. All parents seemed grateful for their gifts, and it was my pleasure to see them given.

I cannot give you ladies enough credit for what you do, have done, and will continue to do. Each of you is special in your own way. And I can honestly say that there was not one item given to Covenant yesterday that was less than perfect! I am sure that every item we took to them will be used and appreciated.

I am still filled with excitement today! My e-mail and my phone have both been busy all ready this morning! Tomorrow I am going back to the hospital for an interview with the paper, the Waterloo Courier. They weren't there yesterday, but since the hospital PR department has been back in touch with them, I guess their interest grew! They want to do an article about not only the Covenant presentation, but what we've done before Covenant, and starting a local chapter. I'm so excited! It's like I'm on a never-ending whirlwind of one thing right after the other to keep my spirits up and keep TLC close to my heart! And I have you wonderful ladies to thank for it, from the bottom of my heart!

Keep on crafting ladies, it's worth it!


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