The new gift shop was a labor of love for Director of Volunteer Services, Pam Johnson and her crew of volunteers. "I started being Director of Volunteer Services in October of 2008 and at that time, I had other obligations throughout the hospital," said Johnson. "About six or eight months later, they put me just over the volunteers and at that time I had hoped for a gift shop. When they did the new remodeling, they picked that area as the gift shop, but it wound up being a vending area. After Mr. Hammond came and I got with him and told him my wishes for a gift shop, he pushed for it and we got it, and all the volunteers helped, and the maintenance department did a great job, and we opened March 8."
Johnson does all of the buying for the store and she's stocked it full of an assortment of gift items featuring something for everyone.
Hospital Administrator, Joe Hammond is very proud of the job Pam and her volunteers have done putting the gift shop together.
"I'm really excited about the fact that the volunteers had the opportunity to put together a gift shop," said Hammond. "Volunteers truly are the backbone of a hospital, in many ways, but the gift shop really gives them a solid place to establish the work that they do and it's tremendously beneficial to the hospital and its patients, visitors and staff."
As far as Johnson knows, this is the first time in the hospital's 47 year history to have an actual gift shop.
"Back in the '70s, the auxiliary ladies had a small showcase out front where they sold mostly homemade items, but we have never had an actual gift shop," said Johnson. "We're real excited about it and it has done really well. We hope the community comes out and shops. We've had some families of people who are here in the hospital come in, we've had a lot of our employees come in and on the open house day we had a lot of town people come in. We've had a lot of success and we're real pleased with it."
The gift shop is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Johnson points out that if anyone wants to come up and can't make it by 3 p.m., if they'll call she'll be glad to stay over. The gift shop's phone number is 870-895-6052. Just ask for Pam and she'll be glad to assist you with ordering a special basket or any other gift need.