The White River Medical Center Gift Shop Opens

The White River Medical Center (WRMC) Gift Shop recently settled in its new location on the first floor of WRMC’s newly constructed East Tower. At 1,150 square feet, the gift shop has approximately 700 more square feet of space than its previous location. With the additional space comes ample room to comfortably shop through a much larger selection of unique merchandise.

 The new design features charming displays filled with a variety of items from folk art pieces to more elegant decor. Greeting customers upon entry are large lighted jewelry displays, colorful assortments of purses and scarves, and of course, Arkansas Razorback gear. Unique, eye-catching home decor lines the walls and shelves. Also included in the new gift shop are baby gifts, sundries, flowers, cards, and patient care items.

 “This project was a labor of love for many, many months,” said Tena Bledsoe, Director of Volunteer Services at WRMC. “Seeing it completed and being enjoyed by all is so rewarding.” As part of her responsibilities, Bledsoe is in charge of overseeing the shop.

 The new gift shop was unveiled on July 18th, which also marked the largest day in sales in its history.

 “From the moment we opened, customers were so gracious in their enthusiastic comments and support for the new gift shop,” said Bledsoe.

 First put in operation with the opening of WRMC in 1976, the gift shop is the principal function of the WRMC Auxiliary (Volunteer Services).  Revenues generated through the gift shop serve to improve healthcare in this region by helping to fund the latest equipment as well as help with building projects. Most recently, the WRMC Auxiliary pledged $500,000 toward the construction of the East Tower, with a majority of that money coming from operating the gift shop.

 The WRMC Auxiliary also contributes to the gift shop through volunteer staffing. Around 20 total volunteers provide cashier assistance and customer service.

 “The assistance we receive from the volunteers is amazing,” said Julie Blakley, Front-line Manager at the WRMC Gift Shop. “Their generosity and friendly demeanor really add a positive presence.”

 Bledsoe feels like the new gift shop not only serves as a place to purchase gifts, but also a sanctuary of sorts for all who visit.

 “Oftentimes families, staff, visitors, and even patients need a respite; a place to get away for a few minutes,” she said. “We feel we have created a space that’s not only enjoyable to shop, but also visit.”

 The WRMC Gift Shop is open to all, not only those serious about shopping, but also those just needing to pass some time while visiting or staying with a loved one.

 Operating times are Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm. For more information about Volunteer Services, including how to become a Volunteer at WRMC, call Tena Bledsoe at (870) 262-6555.