EGRMC volunteers packing goods in Thanksgiving bags Credit: Kirsten VanBeverhoudt

The East Georgia Regional Medical Center Auxiliary committee gathered on Friday, November 18, to pack Thanksgiving bags for needy families. This project is the most successful ongoing activity for the auxiliary since 2012. David Keene, president of the Auxiliary, says it started in that year with 70 bags and then increased every year after 2017.

Keene was elected president of the Auxiliary during the COVID season and has served in that position for five years. In addition to this project, they give away eight scholarships and have different sales to generate money to give to different local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Hearts & Hands Clinic, and others.

David Keene, president of the Auxiliary, helps with packing bags. (Photo Credit: Kirsten VanBeverhoudt)

During COVID times, co-workers came to work on even the darkest of days, and when asked to give towards a great cause, they still gave, even when it hurt. Keene agrees that heroes do work here at East Georgia Regional.

“I’m excited and I just cannot believe it,” Keene said. “It says a lot about the character of the people that work here.”

Thanksgiving Bag giveaway

These are donated items that the auxiliary packed. (Photo Credit: Kirsten VanBeverhoudt)

Each bag contains staples for a big Thanksgiving feast, which is worth $50. The bag contains these items: stuffing and cornbread mix, vegetables, potatoes and gravy mix, cranberry sauce, Jello, cake mix and frosting. Included with each bag was a $15 gift card to purchase any meats at Ellis Meat Market.

“If you start figuring out what it does to the community, these bags that we got here that the employees and volunteers of East Georgia donated, is worth $20,000 to the 400 people,” Keene said.

Overall, they packed 415 bags and gave all bags to Christian Social Ministry‘s director, John Long. Christian Social Ministries will match every bag, which will equal 830 bags all together that will be given to needy families. All Thanksgiving bags were distributed on Monday at their headquarters on Zetterower Road. 

East Georgia Regional Medical Center is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that proudly includes physicians who are members of the Hospital’s medical staff. 

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Kirsten VanBeverhoudt

Kirsten VanBeverhoudt is a Statesboro resident, freelance writer and member of Church of God the Bibleway, Jesup, Georgia. She's a newlywed to her husband, Timothy VanBeverhoudt, Jr. and recently welcoming...