Patients at Savannah’s Georgia Regional Hospital will receive a little Christmas cheer when Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler and Pembroke Police Chief Mark Crowe deliver gifts as part of the 2011 Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.
Fowler and Crowe will drop off gifts donated by the community Dec. 7. Fowler said he hopes to donate as many gifts as possible this year and that delivering the gifts is rewarding.
“I think anytime you go into a hospital and give gifts to patients it’s always a great thing and great feeling to know you’re helping someone in need,” he said.
Crowe described the experience as “humbling” and said the city usually donates several bags full of personal care items to the patients.
“Just being able to show our support for the hospital and being able to give to those that are less fortunate and those that are in need and just to see the joy in their faces when they get the stuff – it’s pretty amazing,” Crowe said.
Cities across Georgia participate in the annual program that provides gifts to patients, most of whom are adults, with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs at Georgia’s regional health hospitals.
Gifts like board games, watches, baseball caps, wallets, stationery, pens and pencils, tote bags and PG- or G-rated movies can be dropped off at Pembroke City Hall until 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and at Richmond Hill City Hall by 5 p.m. Dec. 6.
Other items needed include personal care items, like toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, deodorant, after shave, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, cosmetics, combs and hairbrushes.
New clothing, like bedroom shoes, socks, underwear, sweatshirts, pajamas, bathrobes and tennis shoes, can also be donated. Donations of wrapping paper, ribbons and bows are also welcome, as are cash donations. Any items donated should be new and unwrapped.
The Georgia Municipal Association began the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade in 1958 at the request of then-Gov. Ernest Vandiver as a way of providing holiday gifts for the patients of Georgia’s mental health hospitals. The program is also aimed at raising awareness of the needs of such hospitals.
There are currently seven regional mental health hospitals in the state serving around 3,200 Georgians. Many of these patients have lived in the hospital for much of their lives and receive little, if any support from their families.
For more information, call 653-4417 in Pembroke, 756-3345 in Richmond Hill or visit www.gmanet.com/Motorcade.aspx.