When Emergency Department (ED) nurse Cathy Ruffin heard of the catastrophic flooding ravaging Louisiana, she sprang into action. Because of her experience at MedStar Southern Maryland, her immediate concern was for her fellow medical professionals, many of whom were rendered homeless, but were providing care and comfort to others during this disaster.
Ruffin decided to start a “Scrub Drive,” posting social media messages asking her fellow nurses for donations of scrubs and other items that could be sent to the five hospitals and more than 5,000 employees of those hospitals who were suffering through the flooding. She received an outpouring of support, collecting scrubs of all colors and designs and food and school supplies. She even enlisted her kids to make snack packs with handwritten supportive messages.
ED secretary Tita Ball was one of the first to respond to Ruffin’s request. She also called Ochsner Medical Center, located in the heart of Baton Rouge, wanting to send pizzas to the nurses, but since the flooding ravaged every type of business, there weren’t any pizza places where she could place an order. Ball next thought of a friend in the t-shirt business, enlisting the friend to help send additional shirts down south.
The first donation of 80 pounds of scrubs and supplies sent by Ruffin should arrive by the end of the week. She already has 200 pounds of items ready for the next shipment. Ruffin plans to continue sending scrubs, non-perishable and lightweight food and snacks, and hygiene items, such as deodorant, for several more weeks, as Louisiana continues to deal with the devastation caused by the flood.
Thank you, Cathy, for making a difference!