Linda Schmillem Dave Faragher

Dave Faragher delivers boxes of clothes as Linda Schmillem, volunteer at Abrazo West Hospital, receives the items on May 4 in Goodyear.

The Rotary Club of Verrado donated 760 items of clothing to Abrazo Hospital’s Clothes Closet on its west campus May 4. 

Barry Worman, Abrazo’s director of volunteer services and community relations, said the clothing was a welcome donation after the main donor was forced to disband. 

“The Clothes Closet usually has clothes donated by a nonprofit group called Partners for Health,” Worman said. 

“Unfortunately, they were affected by the pandemic because they could not fundraise or come into the hospital. They eventually disbanded, which then affected our Clothes Closet. We had enough clothes to get by for about a year.”

The Rotary Club of Verrado found out via a Zoom call with Worman that Clothes Closet was running out of clothes. It also volunteered other ways to help. 

The clothing generally goes to patients in Abrazo’s trauma center, as they often enter the hospital in tattered and stained clothes. 

“The Clothes Closet provides new T-shirts, sweatpants and sometimes flip-flops,” Worman said. 

The Rotary Club is a worldwide organization that said it puts service above self or does things for others within the community or abroad.

David Johnson is a member of the Rotary Club of Verrado’s foundation board. As the owner of Johnson Wealth Management, Johnson matched his club’s donation to purchase the clothes.

“Rotary contributed $1,500 and myself, my wife and our business contributed the other $1,500, which made for $3,000 for us to go purchase the clothes,” Johnson said.

Linda Schmillen of Abrazo’s Volunteer Services Department said the organization goes through at least 100 to 150 pairs of pants and T-shirts monthly.

“It is a lot of usage, and it is something that is very much appreciated by the nursing, the staff and the patients,” she said.

However, trauma patients are not the only recipients. About 40% of the clothing is given to homeless or low-income patients. 

“These are patients that are in need of clothing,” Johnson said. 

“These are homeless patients or patients who come in with no clothes other than the clothes on their back. This gives them an opportunity to be able to leave in dignity with some clothes rather than a hospital gown.”

Abrazo estimates this donation will last for four to seven months. 

Although Abrazo is a for-profit hospital and cannot ask for donations, it is still in need of new clothes for its closet so patients can leave the facility with dignity and in comfort.