Freda Hutchison provides greeting cards to hospital volunteers.
MINI-CASSIA – Freda Hutchison walked with great effort and a big smile into Cassia Regional Medical Center recently with a box full of handmade cards to give to the surgery department. Her box had over 70 cards in it, and each one took her at least 45 minutes to make. Each card is unique, and around holidays the standard nurse figure on the card might instead be a ghost or a snowman sporting a stethoscope and nurse’s cap.
“I have been given so much; it is my way to give back,” said Hutchison, of her work making the cards.
A little more than two years ago, Freda was at Cassia Regional for surgery. She received a handmade card from her nurse Julie Hunsaker. It meant a lot to her, so when she was back for another surgery and didn’t get a card, she asked why. Hunsaker apologized and explained that she hadn’t found the time lately to make the time consuming cards. Freda let Hunsaker know that she would love to make the cards once she was well, knowing how much her card had meant to her. Hunsaker has retained a small part in making the cards; she cuts all the paper pieces Freda uses. It has been over a year since Freda started her volunteer service and she is thrilled with the response she has gotten from her efforts. She has heard stories of many patients who guard their card possessively to make sure they can take it home with them when they leave. Freda is pleased that her cards bring joy to others’ lives.
The cards serve to thank patients for choosing Cassia Regional to care for them, and to welcome patients as they arrive for surgery. A card is pinned to the curtain of the patient’s room upon arrival with their name written on it.
“Patients see the card welcoming them and they know that we have been expecting them,” said Marilyn King, RN.
“Before the patient leaves, staff members who have cared for the patient get to sign the card.”
“Many patients are very touched by the cards. We let them know that each one is unique and handmade by Freda,” said Julie Hunsaker.
Freda was recently inducted into the Cassia Regional Volunteer team.
“I was so honored that Julie talked to the volunteer director and let her know about the work I was doing,” said Freda.
Geri Alejandro, Director of Volunteer Services, quickly determined that Freda should be recognized.
“We are very grateful for the generous work she is doing to add to the personalized care we give our patients,” said Alejandro.