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Holiday Gift Parade online bidding now underway

Grand Island, Neb. — Holiday shoppers looking for decorative Christmas wreaths and Christmas Gift Baskets will find 110 items on sale at the Saint Francis Medical Center Tower Lobby. Bidding for these items, also available on line, starts at noon today and continues through Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The wreaths and gift baskets are part of the annual Holiday Gift Parade, a fundraiser by the Saint Francis Foundation. The event, expanded from the Foundation’s Parade of Wreaths, raises funds for Project Care that provides support for low-income patients during their stay at the hospital.

Those who wish to bid for items may come to the hospital at anytime during the auction period to see the wreaths and gift baskets and actually purchase items through the Foundation’s “Buy It Now” program.

Interested shoppers also may view items online and submit bids by going to www.saintfrancisgi.org and clicking on the Holiday Gift Parade logo in the bottom, right-hand corner of the page. These bids are not final until high bids are announced on the website on Nov. 14. Winners will be able to pick up their item that day. Items cannot be shipped.

Project Care assists low-income families with a variety of non-hospital expenses they face in the event of illness. The goal of Project Care is to provide low-income patients with a healing environment and assure a full recovery.

Last year the Foundation provided more than $30,000 in assistance to low-income patients and their families through project care.

Funds, administered through the hospital’s Social Work Department, pay for indirect medical needs such as:

--Prescription assistance for someone recovering from an illness or injury, who has no other means to buy the medications they need.

--Accommodations for family members at our Guest House so they can be close to their loved one, while they are a patient at the Medical Center (this is especially helpful for parents of a sick child).

--Gasoline costs for a dismissed patient needing to travel to Lincoln or Omaha to see a specialist for follow-up care.

--Purchasing over-the-counter supplies needed for a wound as prescribed by a physician or diabetic testing supplies.

--Funds for a cab ride home for a patient who was taken to the hospital by ambulance and has no way to return home.

All questions about the Holiday Gift Parade can be directed to director Claire Aguilar at the Saint Francis Foundation at (308) 398-5684.

About Saint Francis Medical Center

Saint Francis Medical Center is a nonprofit faith-based hospital serving Central Nebraska with state-of-the-art healthcare services. A new patient tower was completed in 2007 with 159 acute-care patient rooms, including the Family Birthing Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit and a 10-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit. Saint Francis also operates a Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island and Hastings, a Skilled Care Unit and an alcohol and drug treatment center.

About Catholic Health Initiatives

Saint Francis Medical Center is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2011, CHI provided more than $612 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual operating revenues of approximately $9.6 billion, CHI is the nation's third-largest Catholic health care system.