by Lisa Tome
The lobby at Union Hospital is filled with signs of hope.
There are currently 46 raffle baskets on display. Purchase of tickets with a chance to win the baskets provides hope and help to oncology patients.
"It helps a lot. People just come and buy tickets," said Beth Money, an RN, and organizer of this event. She explained that 100 percent of what is raised goes to assist patients.
Patients are allotted up to $500. That pays for co-pays, pain reduction medications, anti-nausea medication, or funds their basic needs. "When you're getting oncology treatments, your income diminishes or is non-existent," said Money.
Last year, $20,470 was raised. The baskets are donated by hospital departments, families, and local businesses. Some, such as one filled with Burt's Bees personal care items, are donated by patients who have received assistance from Baskets of Hope in the past.
Donations have come in from as far away as Annapolis.
"There are a lot of good stories behind these baskets," said Money.
So far this year, Union has provided $27,284.91 in assistance to oncology patients. "The more I get, the more I can help the patient," said Money.
The baskets have a vast array of themes - from Christmas to fitness. There are also chocolate baskets, a night to remember date package, fiesta, and two baskets contain outdoor fire pits. There are cooking themed baskets, wine baskets, packages containing homemade canned vegetables, a turkey basket and much more.
Basket of Hope raffle tickets cost $1 each, six for $5, or 15 for $10. There are additional discounts for buying larger quantities. Tickets will be sold daily in the Union Hospital lobby through November 2. The drawings will be held on November 2 at 2 p.m.
Running concurrent with the Baskets of Hope fund drive is the non-perishable food drive for cancer patients. What is most needed are breakfast items.
You can receive up to five free Baskets of Hope raffle tickets with your food donation.