Published on December 23, 2015

4 ways to give that might save someone’s life

4 ways to give that might save someone’s life

You can’t put a price tag on some gifts, especially the one ones that brighten someone’s day – or even save a life.

Here are four ways you can give and make a lasting difference.

  1. Donate time. “Volunteers make a huge difference,” said Susan Hanley, director of volunteer services at Falmouth Hospital. “They help in every area they work in.”

“Every hour a volunteer gives is a gift to the hospital’s patients and staff,” said Patricia Boris, program manager for volunteer services at Cape Cod Hospital. “A kind word and a smile can make a patient’s day.”

Cape Cod Hospital and its satellite sites have 400 active volunteers. “Last year they donated more than 45,000 hours of service, said Boris. Falmouth Hospital has another 230 volunteers.

Current volunteer needs at Falmouth Hospital include cashiers at the cafeteria and gift shop, receptionists at the visitors’ reception desk and outpatient reception desk.

At Cape Cod Hospital, the main need for volunteers is in-house transport (helping nurses move patients from their rooms to test sites and vice versa) and errands (helping move paperwork, flowers and the book and magazine cart around the hospital).

“We have a lot of volunteers who fly south for the winter, said Hanley. “Staff people tell me they miss their volunteers when they’re not around.”

“Our volunteers have different backgrounds, but they all have the same good heart,” said Boris. “They often say they want to give back because they or a family member had a good experience here.”

For information on volunteering, contact Patricia Boris at 508-862-5259 or pboris@capecodhealth.org or Susan Hanley at 508-457-3521 or shanley@capecodheath.org. Volunteer applications are available online.

  1. Give blood. “If you’re not sure what to give this season, why not give the gift of life?” asked Jonathan DeCoste, senior blood donor recruiter for Cape Cod Hospital. “There’s always a need for blood. We only collect about 50 percent of the units we need.”

Blood donations often slow down during the winter, when some donors leave for homes in the South, and others might be extra busy or have a cold. “If there’s a snowstorm, it makes a difference,” said DeCoste.

Information about blood drives can be found online. You also can donate at the blood bank at Cape Cod Hospital. You can make an appointment by calling 508-86-BLOOD (508-862-5663).

Walk-ins are OK, said DeCoste, but he recommended calling in advance. “If we’re doing a large drive that requires a lot of staff, we do close on occasion,” he said. The blood bank is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and evenings and Saturdays by appointment.

“It only takes about 45 minutes, including paperwork and a mini-physical,” said DeCoste. “You’ll feel great knowing you helped a patient in need. If someone asks you, ‘How was your day?’ you can say, ‘My day was great. I helped save a life today.’ All the blood we collect stays on Cape Cod, so you’re supporting a friend, neighbor or loved one.”

  1. Donate dollars. Charitable gifts from the community help Cape Cod Healthcare provide new programs, services and technology.

Donations also have helped support renovations and construction, including the Lyndon P. Lorusso Emergency Center, the Davenport-Mugar Cancer Center, the John F. Kennedy Jr. Pediatric Department, an ambulatory surgery center at the O’Keefe Pavilion and the new dining hall and patient care tower in the Marian G. and Stephen P. Mugar Building.

Learn more about how donations support patient care at Cape Cod Healthcare, or call the Hospital Foundation Office at 508-778-0505 (toll free at 1-800-499-3377).

  1. Register as an organ donor. “We have a lot of stories about people who’ve been given a second chance at life because of an organ donor,” said Laura Dempsey, development and communication coordinator at the New England Organ Bank. “Their stories are really powerful and show what a blessing it can be.”

Dempsey said the most popular way to register as an organ donor is at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you renew your license or registration. You can also register online at registerme.org.

“It’s just a few steps and takes less than five minutes,” said Dempsey. “It can be difficult for a family to make a decision about organ donation in a time of grief, so make your decision known through the registry and with your family.”

  1. Donate dollars. Charitable gifts from the community help Cape Cod Healthcare provide new programs, services and technology.

Donations also have helped support renovations and construction, including the Lyndon P. Lorusso Emergency Center, the Davenport-Mugar Cancer Center, the John F. Kennedy Jr. Pediatric Department, an ambulatory surgery center at the O’Keefe Pavilion and the new dining hall and patient care tower in the Marian G. and Stephen P. Mugar Building.

Learn more about how donations support patient care at Cape Cod Healthcare, or call the Hospital Foundation Office at 508-778-0505 (toll free at 1-800-499-3377).

  1. Register as an organ donor. “We have a lot of stories about people who’ve been given a second chance at life because of an organ donor,” said Laura Dempsey, development and communication coordinator at the New England Organ Bank. “Their stories are really powerful and show what a blessing it can be.”

Dempsey said the most popular way to register as an organ donor is at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you renew your license or registration. You can also register online at registerme.org.

“It’s just a few steps and takes less than five minutes,” said Dempsey. “It can be difficult for a family to make a decision about organ donation in a time of grief, so make your decision known through the registry and with your family.”