Every purchase at the Rose Gift Shop, from comfy robes and slippers to jewelry, has benefited the Denver community to the tune of $1.8 million since 1996.
“The general Jewish community doesn’t really know this,” says Meredith Bloomberg, co-president of the Rose Women’s Organization (RWO).
For 21 years, RWO has donated all gift proceeds to both Jewish and non-Jewish 5013c organizations in the city.
Twenty-five women belong to the RWO, which replaced the Women’s Auxiliary after the for-profit Columbia HCA bought Rose Medical Center in 1995.
“Historically, the Women’s Auxiliary, which dates back to the 1940s and 1950s, was composed of the wives of Jewish doctors at Rose,” Bloomberg says.
“They supported the hospital, the physicians, bought TVs for hospital rooms and ran the gift shop.”
The Rose Community Foundation, the primary communal grant-making agency, launched in 1995 and founded the RWO that same year.
“The Women’s Auxiliary didn’t have a role anymore,” Bloomberg says.
“We wanted to continue some of the auxiliary’s work, carry it over into our new relationship with RCF, and changed our mission statement.”
Bloomberg, who had been involved with several organizations prior to RWO, says the majority raised money for themselves.
“Our focus is unique,” she says. “We’re giving the money away.”
Last year’s proceeds went to local agencies assisting refugees with transportation, language skills and more.
The RWO relies on revenue from its original RCF grant, dues and a little fundraising .
But the gift shop remains the number one income source.
“The success of the Rose Gift Shop determines how much money we can give to other organizations,” Bloomberg says.
“Every dollar goes back into the community, so our gift shop must be healthy.”
The Rose Gift Shop, located on the first floor lobby of Rose Medical Center, is a well-appointed space bursting with an enticing array of gifts and functional items for all ages.
“We’re stocked to the max right now,” Bloomberg says.
Many people head straight for the flowers, which are ordered fresh each morning and can be arranged to suit individual tastes in advance of pick up.
As with all gifts ordered over the phone, bouquets are delivered directly to the patient’s room at no delivery charge that same day (usually within two hours).
The shop carries a plethora of patient attire such as robes, wraps, slippers, blankets, hats, soaps, perfume and colorful reading glasses — anything they left at home.
Restless patients might prefer a hardbound mystery, a new coffee table book, an assortment of scented candles or fancy towels for future use.
Staples such as cards for all occasions, stationary and treats are abundant.
The sky’s the limit for newborns and children.
Even the most perplexed purveyor will find the perfect, age-appropriate delight.
The Squishee is this year’s most popular children’s gift.
Snugly accommodating a small hand like a stress ball, it’s decorated with donuts, emojis and other images.
You can opt for a superior pen instead, but you might jeopardize your favorite-aunt status.
From now until Dec. 31, anyone bringing a non-perishable food item for JFS’ Weinberg Food Pantry will receive a small discount on purchases.
Andrew Peacock, the store’s manager-buyer for 20 years, keeps a prescient eye on the latest trends that please patients and casual shoppers alike.
Bloomberg says his choices usually sell out within a matter of weeks.
“This year we have these really neat Persian lamps,” Bloomberg says. “At first we thought, ‘What in the world?’ But they’re fascinating; beautiful.”
Male shoppers perusing Chanukah gifts for their spouses may gravitate toward the elegantly crafted rings, necklaces and earrings.
Parents will undoubtedly check out the Squishees or those cute little sayings that make a fun addition to a child’s backpack.
Regardless of what’s inside the shopping bag, people you’ve never met will benefit from every transaction.
No gift is greater.
Copyright © 2017 by the Intermountain Jewish News