EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a four-part series to be featured this month in the Lake Oconee Breeze highlighting area volunteers and non-profit organizations that give back to the community. This week’s article offers a closer look at the Putnam General Hospital Auxiliary and the group’s efforts in the community.

For more than 40 years the Putnam General Hospital Auxiliary has helped connect the Putnam community to the hospital that serves it by providing volunteer opportunities that compliment the hospital’s mission of offering the best care possible to area residents.

The Auxiliary is made up of the Pink Ladies and the Red Men who compose the Auxiliary’s 72 members, 56 of which actively serve the hospital in roles including working in the gift shop, information desk, filing, or fund raising.

“We’re very community oriented,” Auxiliary member Mary Gillman said. “A lot of people from the community volunteer with the Auxiliary.”

Over the last five years, the Auxiliary has raised more than $180,000 to help facilitate Putnam General’s mission.

The Auxiliary raises money everyday through the hospital’s gift shop, but volunteers raise funds through a number of annual events including their Christmas Sale, Love Light event and soup luncheon.

The Auxiliary’s next two events include a fashion show featuring fashions from Willow Creek and Belk’s, which will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Eatonton on March 18, and the Great Waters Tour of Homes that takes place May 16.

Gillman said that all of the money raised by the Auxiliary goes right back into the hospital.

In 2008, the Auxiliary raised $33,643, bought 18 computers and a scientific refrigerator for the hospital’s lab and provided more than 500 flu vaccines to the community.

“We’re really proud of what we do for the hospital,” Gillman said. “It’s good for all of us to give back, and this is our way of giving to the community.”

But it’s not simply about giving, Gillman said many Auxiliary members stay involved because it is a good way for them to get out and be active in the community.

Auxiliary members meet quarterly at Rock Eagle for gatherings that include guest speakers, lunch and plenty of fellowship.

Anyone interested in learning more or joining the Auxiliary can call (706) 485-2711 ext. 249, or stop by the hospital’s front desk.

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