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Healthy giving

Donations of time and money help hospital system care for the community


When life is disrupted by the need for healthcare, Cape Fear Valley Health is there for the community with hospitals in Cumberland, Hoke, Harnett and Bladen counties.
Those interested in helping Cape Fear Valley care for the community can do so in a multitude of ways, through monetary gifts, in-kind donations, volunteering or even giving blood.
“There are so many ways you can give to healthcare, not only how you give, but areas that you can support,” says Sabrina Brooks, vice president of Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation. “Everything you can give to healthcare makes our community better in all regards.”
The staff at Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation can help people who are interested in donating. These are some of the ways people can get involved. You may be surprised to learn how few involve donating money.

Volunteering and community events
The hospitals throughout Cape Fear Valley Health depend heavily on volunteers to help in areas such as pastoral care, senior health services, cancer care and the neonatal intensive care unit.
The health system relies on more than 125 volunteers who provide more than 11,275 hours of support annually. While this number may seems large, there is always room to grow. The health system is still hoping to return to pre-COVID numbers.
“One area we are currently working to enhance is our NICU Cuddler program,” says Kristen Coggin, MD, neonatologist in Cape Fear Valley Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Cuddlers are volunteers trained to rock and hold babies in the NICU. The extra contact can help facilitate the infants’ development, both socially and physically.
Volunteers are also needed to help plan and conduct fundraising events, such as the Step Up 4 Health & Wellness Expo. The 2023 Step Up 4 Health & Wellness Expo will be April 15 and includes a 4K and a one-mile walk. Afterward, a free expo will host more than two dozen hospital service lines and showcase community resources.
“This event is expanding on the Ribbon Walk for Cancer, which supported the Friends of the Cancer Center,’’ says Carpenter. “It allows for registration fees to be routed to the Cancer
Center, among other areas such as pediatric endocrinology, heart care, children’s services and more.”
An event of this scale takes planning and able-bodied volunteers. Those who are interested in helping should call the foundation at
910-615-1285. Those looking to volunteer at the health system, can call Volunteer Services at 910-615-6747

Other donations
Another option is in-kind, or non-cash donations.
“We collect teddy bears for children who are hospitalized,” Brooks says. “We also collect puzzles or activity books for seniors who are in our rehab facilities for extended periods of time.”
Another project that has seen an uptick in donations is the Pillows for a Cause program. Two years ago, Alex Abbott Spearman of AHA Designs started donating coloring pillows with imprints and designs for the pediatric unit. For every “Coloring Pillows for a Cause” purchase, Abbott donates an additional pillow and a pack of fabric markers to the hospital. To order a pillow, visit ahadesignsnc.com.
“It’s a great gift, and it supports the children at the hospital as well,” Brooks says.

Giving blood
Donating blood is another way to give to the community, that costs nothing but time. Donations given to Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center stay within the health system and help ensure that the patients hospitalized at Cape Fear Valley Health have a safe and adequate supply of blood. That’s not always an easy feat.
“We transfuse about 1,100 units of blood per month to patients throughout the health system,” says Lindsey Graham, Blood Donor Center marketing coordinator. “But we collect way less than that. Sometimes we have to purchase blood from outside sources. This can be costly, and the blood isn’t always readily available. There is just no substitute for local donors who give regularly.”
The Blood Donor Center, located at 3357 Village Drive in Bordeaux Shopping Center, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the third Saturday of each month. They also conduct blood drives at locations such as schools, shopping centers and businesses.
Call 910-615-5433 or go to capefearvalley.com/blood/blood_drives.aspx to find upcoming blood drives.

Monetary donations
For those who are able, monetary donations are always gratefully accepted by Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the healthcare system that works to secure funding for some of the most critical departments, including cancer, heart and children’s care services.
“The foundation’s focus for the past five years has been our capital campaign – the $30 million Center for Medical Education and Neuroscience Institute – which will help train the next generation of physicians,’’ Brooks says. “We have raised capital funding to make the building a reality.”
The building is set to open in January and will house the health system’s growing residency program, as well as the offices for Cape Fear Valley Neurology and Neurosurgery.
“Since Cape Fear Valley started its residency program in 2017, 60 residents have graduated as of June 2022,’’ says Jamie Powell, the foundation’s gifts officer. “Of those, 11 pursued fellowships or additional residencies. Forty-nine went into practice, and 50% of those (25 graduates) stayed to serve at Cape Fear Valley or the surrounding region.”
Other initiatives the foundation has helped fund in recent years include a behavioral health expansion in Cumberland County; expanding cancer care and upgrading facilities at cancer centers; a future opening of a cancer center in Lillington; increasing program support for simulation equipment and education materials for training; supporting rehabilitation services; and enhancing children’s services.
Monetary donations can be one-time or a recurring gift and may be designated for specific areas, such as the cancer center or to the greatest need of the health system.
“Giving to healthcare is easy because there are so many ways to do it and you can impact so many different areas of care that might be important to the donor or to the greatest needs of the health system, which can vary depending on the time,” Brooks says.
Donors also can make a tribute gift to honor, memorialize or support someone with medical needs at the hospital by going to the foundation website. For memorial or legacy gifts, there are several options, including naming Cape Fear Valley in estate plans; planning beneficiary designations for assets not named in wills; including non-probate assets such as IRAs, 401(k)s and life insurance policies; donating securities; or giving from an IRA.
The foundation also launched a program called FreeWill, an online tool to create a legal will without charge.
“Creating a will is important, and anyone who needs one can create one using our site,’’ Powell says. “It will also allow anyone to choose to leave a lasting gift to the hospital if they choose to do so.’’
When it comes to donating, every gift counts, foundation officials say. “No gift is too small,” Brooks says.
For more information, go to cfvfoundation.org or call 910-615-1285 to talk with the Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation staff.