While many of us struggle to accomplish all the holiday preparation goals we set for ourselves, PAH Skilled Care Center (SCC) Administrator Kathy Magnes, BSN, RN, NHA, goes way above and beyond the official call of personal and professinoal duty when it comes to giving for the holidays. This year, like every holiday season for almost a decade, Magnes collected items donated from generous PAH employees for the homeless. Donations, which include much-needed toiletries, non-perishable snack foods and clothing – were divided to be distributed via festive gift bags. Come early Christmas morning, Magnes, with family in tow, delivers the bags to the homeless throughout the PAH neighborhood.
“In the past few years, donations have grown tremendously,” said Magnes. “They are not just from Pennsylvania Hospital staff members, but even from strangers I’ve never met at HUP who heard about the project. There’s one Pennsylvania Hospital Employee who retired last year that I have never actually met. She called me last week to say she donates supplies to the project every year, and would make a special trip to the Skilled Care Center just to drop this year’s supplies off. I also have several dedicated donors who purchase things year-round, and deliver them to me in December.”
Inspired by Magnes’ level of commitment, SCC staff members decided they wanted to chip in and take over part of the project. Instead of Magnes having to take the supplies home to create the bags, everything is now stored on the SCC and staff members have a blast getting together a few days before Christmas and putting the bags together.
Then, Magnes, her husband, their children – and sometimes even a few of their children’s friends – come to the Hospital at 4 am on Christmas morning to pick up the bags and drive around Center City delivering them to the homeless.
The first year, Magnes delivered ten – as she describes it, “somewhat skimpy bags.” Last year, the SCC team created 45 decidedly un-skimpy bags that the Magnes family was able to deliver. The bags offered much-appreciated Christmas cheer via a full range of gifts, from warm blankets and coats, to personal toiletries and gift cards for Wawa. “I’ve been very lucky,” said Magnus, “because the donors have been so generous, allowing me to better serve the homeless around Pennsylvania Hospital.