Scrubs Donation Event To Be Held In May For Students Graduating As Nurses From Two Virginia Schools

BIG STONE GAP, Va. - Medical professionals who have used scrubs they no longer need will have an excellent opportunity to assist students who will soon be entering the field.

Carmen Spurrier, a registered nurse in the Holston Valley Medical Center emergency department, is organizing a used scrubs donation event for the second straight year. These scrubs will be provided free to students who are graduating from the nursing programs at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap and Lee County Career & Technical Center in Ben Hur.

The giveaway will take place at the technical center on Friday, May 9, and at Mountain Empire on Monday, May 12, at 10 a.m. People who are donating scrubs are encouraged to bring them to either location on the day of the giveaway. However, if those times are inconvenient, donors can stop by these locations at other times.

Spurrier, who lives in Southwest Virginia, said this program is a perfect way for people who have worked in health care to welcome these newcomers.

"Many of these nurses have had to pay a considerable amount of money for their education and will have to pay for their licenses," Spurrier said. "If they also have to buy new scrubs to wear at work, it can present a financial burden at a time when they should be celebrating the beginning of their careers.

"This event is a great way to show support for those who will care for patients in our region."

Spurrier said scrubs will be needed for male and female nurses. If any scrubs remain after the donations to nurses, people in other medical professions can request them, she said.

The inaugural event in 2013 was successful, but Spurrier hopes she can draw even more attention to the cause this year. Word about the donation project has spread, with one nurse from Wyoming recently contacting her after reading about the 2013 event on the Internet. She is sending used scrubs to Spurrier, who was grateful and amazed to have support from someone that far away.

One of the other impressive outcomes of the 2013 event was the response by recipients. Spurrier said many of them paid it forward by returning the scrubs once they started earning money and could afford to purchase their own set. That enabled others who needed scrubs to get a head start on their careers without the extra cost.

"That is an inspiring way for these nurses to show their gratitude for the kindness they received by turning around and helping others," Spurrier said. "It is really impressive to me to see how many of my fellow caregivers are willing to lend each other a hand."

For more information, please call Spurrier at 276-275-3513.