Monday, December 22, 2008

Here Are the Items Needed for Wounded Veterans and Their Families

Here’s the second part of the guest post from Shelly Vail of Troop Support Alliance in Tampa, FL. Above is a photo of Troop Support Alliance's Friday flag waving day. And below Shelly is going to give us a wish list of needed items for wounded military personnel at the Haley VA Hospital and their families who have come to stay at Haley House in order to be near the hospital.

I was just over at the hospital last Friday to do a pre-Christmas drop off of a donated used desktop PC and some PC and video games. Those will be shared in several areas of the hospital. Mary Ellen Harlan was getting the PC set up to be given to a spinal injury patient. He is having a hard time socially with most of his family and friends not able to visit with him while he is here. This will allow him to be closer to them even if it is only through the internet, but that should help.

The video games are something I started using as support almost six years ago. The guys in the poly-trauma wing (blast unit) and the ones in the nursing home who play on the games systems and PCs seem to require less pain meds. Our goal is to have each patient room in the blast unit have an XBox360. The older guys over in the nursing home area play the PC coffee break type of games and they have a Wii system but only two games at this time.

I hope we can attract some new awareness of what the families go through and the cracks the system has out there, yet what can be done to help them through it all.

This is the wish list I got in from a recreational therapy person in the spinal cord injury area:

• ethernet cables for bedside connection (patients bring their own laptops but not the cables so we need some to loan out)
• Wii remotes and games
• headphones (again for bedside use, primarily in 4-bed rooms (but the cheap kind because we cannot share them among patients due to hygiene concerns so the headphones must be “disposable”)
• puzzle books (word searches, crosswords, Sudoku, misc.)
laptop stands
• countertop convection oven (deep enough for 12-inch pizza to cook)
• griddle
• rectangular electric skillet

Many of the older guys might not have any family to help them with extra personal needs so we try to get items for whoever needs them.

Nursing home list:

• Wii games
• PC games ( puzzle, solitaire, casino style)
• New patient items such as pajamas, socks, underwear, etc.
• hygiene items such as shaving items, deodorant, shampoo, soap, etc.

Haley House list:

• small amount gift cards ($10) to places like Wal-mart or Target for when a family has needed items they forgot.
• phone cards for patients and families to use to stay in contact with home
• VISA or MasterCard gift cards that can be used to buy groceries to stock the kitchen area for families staying at Haley House
• Wounded Warrior van -- trying to find a new van and new sponsor to replace the van we had to return this summer

Anything I can get donated Mary Ellen Harlan finds a way to use. Any used PCs (XP operating system level) I can get are used either by patients or military families who really need a PC. Any video games, game systems or PC games are used at the VA as well with the recreational therapy crews helping patients use them with wonderful results.

Send all items to Haley House Fund Inc., P.O. Box 701, Brandon, FL 33509-0701. Email questions can be addressed to me at . And anything you can send or donateto Haley House will be so very much appreciated.

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