What to know before donating to DC-area hospitals

Chris O’Brien, VP of program development, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital; Sarah Walker, Volunteer Services, Holy Cross Health are pictured with KC Cole with Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, donating masks. (Holy Cross Health)
Beverages are among the donations made to area hospitals. (Holy Cross Health)
A homemade PPE is among the donations for a local hospital. (Holy Cross Health)
A variety of snacks were donated for hospital workers. (Holy Cross Health)
Who doesn’t want a hot pizza? This one is gratefully accepted by a hospital worker. (Holy Cross Health)
Bundt cake anyone? A thoughtful soul donated some to hospital workers. (Holy Cross Health)
Ice cream is another dessert option for hard working hospital staff, thanks to donations. (Holy Cross Health)

Hospitals preparing for increasing demands as the coronavirus pandemic progresses are welcoming donations.

To be most helpful, potential donors are recommended to get guidance from the hospitals and health systems they want to support.

“It is really important that you coordinate with us in meeting our needs,” said Steven Fowler, Holy Cross Health’s Chief Mission Officer. Holy Cross Health supports hospitals in Silver Spring and Germantown, Maryland, along with health centers throughout Montgomery County.

“Sometimes, the excitement that folks have can put us in a position where we’re using our time and our resources and our efforts to manage donations that we cannot use,” Fowler said.

Generally, the donations needed are medical supplies, personal protective equipment and staff support items, such as food, snacks, hydration and personal care items like small bottles of lotion.

“I think I wash my hands a million times a day,” Fowler said. “So little bottles of hand creams or gels that are soothing are helpful.”

Donated items should be easy to store and distribute, individually wrapped and in original packaging. Cash donations also work.

Some people are excited about sponsoring a hot meal for hard working, front line hospital staff.

“Which is great,” Fowler said. “It provides a boost to some of the local businesses that are struggling, so we really appreciate that.”

But Fowler again stressed the need for coordination.

“Anytime we have a hot meal coming in, that requires resources on our side,” Fowler said. “So we want to make sure that even those efforts are totally coordinated with our staff here.”

Here’s a list of some area hospitals and their websites.

Adventist Healthcare

Children’s National Hospital

George Washington Hospital

Inova Hospitals

Mary Washington Hospital

MedStar Georgetown Hospital

Sibley Hospital

Suburban Hospital

Virginia Hospital Center

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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