Not long after Russian forces invaded Ukraine and initiated the largest military assault on a European country since World War II, the staff at Chester County Hospital knew it wanted to help the Ukrainians in any and every way it could.
Senior leaders and other hospital employees immediately launched a donation drive that local doctors’ offices, retirement communities, nonprofits, the Keystone Valley Fire Department in Parkesburg, and elected officials like State Sen. Carolyn Comitta have since participated in.
“We felt the strong need to help; everybody wants to do something,” said Jackie Felicetti, Chester County Hospital’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “We had an employee contact us to get a drive started, and within a day, we had a small team set up.”
The hospital had a list of necessary items that the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee desperately needed. Employees spread the word via social media, which led to neighborhoods coordinating donations to the hospital. Soon, the collected items were piling up in every available corner of the hospital.
Donors gave whatever they could — from wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and braces to ointments, bandages, solutions, and hygiene products. Other supplies included sleeping bags, medicine, baby wipes, and diapers … anything that was critical to the survival of the Ukrainian people.
“Our employees are very giving and generous,” said Felicetti. “The outcome of the drive has been astonishing. We wouldn’t have succeeded without help from all of the volunteers. They really kept their boots on the ground to make everything happen.”
The United Ukrainian American Relief Committee arrived at Chester County Hospital with a 40-foot trailer to pick up all the donations.
“We exceeded our goal,” said Jose Matthews, Executive Assistant to the hospital’s Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. “The support of our clinics and outpatient offices has been incredible. Hearing stories from the committee’s volunteers brings new light to the work we do. Knowing that we can make a difference in Chester County for the people of Ukraine really brings us all together and makes the hospital stronger.”
Matthews said he was moved to see all the donations pour in.
“You don’t hear much positive news, but this shows there is kindness and hope even in dark times,” he said. “It gives the community something to feel hopeful about.”
Learn more about Chester County Hospital.