The gift shop at West Georgia Health might not be the first place people think about for Christmas shopping, but hospital officials hope that its variety of holiday offerings will change their minds.
The shop is brimming with brightly colored decorations and seasonal pieces. The shop specializes in hand-made, geo-mesh wreaths that can be specially ordered to celebrate any occasion.
Currently, the shop has many different wreaths made up for Christmas and the winter season. There is also a large selection of Christmas tree ornaments, candle and candy holders, books, jewelry, some clothing items and a greeting card section.
Jean Cook, West Georgia Health director of volunteer and community services, is responsible for the hospital’s gift shop with gift shop coordinator Tamrah Oliver, who orders, decorates and oversees day-to-day shop responsibilities. Volunteers typically work four-hour shifts once a week.
“All of our proceeds go directly to the West Georgia Health Foundation. The shop has raised $50,000 a year for the past four years. We were able to give $150,000 towards the building of this new south tower,” Cook said. “Another $150,000 went to the new Comprehensive Cancer Center.”
Virgina Kirby has been volunteering at the shop for the past five years.
“I enjoy seeing people and I feel like it is a service to the community, it’s a way to give back to the community,” Kirby said.
Oliver said she selects merchandise to give patrons a unique shopping experience.
“I want this to be a gift shop that is in the hospital, but not a hospital gift shop. This place is a good little secret. People don’t really know the true extend of what we carry,” Oliver said.
The gift shop always has extended hours Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to midnight, and there is parking right outside of the main hospital entrance. It is open Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.