Personal experience and professional relationships led a local Dillons manager to donate several large stuffed animals to a local hospital this week. Rebecca Chapman is the general merchandise/health & beauty manager at the Summit Street store in Ark City. For her, the donation is more personal than routine.

“I have a six-year-old granddaughter, Paisley. She has already been through at least three major surgeries, so I know how important the hospital experience is. I wanted to do something that would help other kids.”

Chapman briefly describes some of the medical ordeals her daughter and grand-daughter endured: kidney problems, feeding issues, and most recently, surgical correction of twisted intestines. “When Paisley was little,” she recalls, “she couldn’t keep any formula down. They had to install a feeding tube and she had to use that for two years.”

“After one procedure, she couldn’t eat for four days. Little ones get so frustrated. Anything that can help distract them or give them some consolation is a great thing.” Three months ago, Paisley had to be flown from Dodge City to Wichita because of the urgency of her condition. Having worked at the store for twenty-one years, Chapman really appreciates that Dillons is so interested in their communities. “They love for us to make donations like this!”

And the local hospital is certainly appreciative and receptive.

Shayla McDonald, director of risk management and quality performance is a personal acquaintance of the Dillons manager. She notes, “Being friends with Rebecca for several years, I have seen her good heart in action. When she called yesterday and said that she wanted to donate stuffed animals to our patients, I was not surprised because that is just the type of person she is!”

Doc Arnett, marketing director at South Central Kansas Medical Center, recounted how he learned about Chapman’s interest. “I had a phone message stating that she wanted to donate some stuffed animals. I walked into Dillons figuring that there’d be a couple of boxes of little leftover Valentine’s critters. I followed Rebecca over to the gift and floral section and saw this huge cardboard box filled with these adorable bears and puppies!”

Arnett concluded, “I love it when people use their corporation position to do good things. Whenever you reach out to a kid in the middle of some medical challenge, you don’t just touch that kid; you touch everyone in the family and everyone that cares about that kid. Here’s a terrific example of someone whose personal experience has made her really aware and caring and she’s using that to help others.”

McDonald echoes Arnett’s appreciation, “Kindness goes a long way, and I am glad that our community shows that kindness to us!”

[Others interested in making donations to the hospital can contact marketing/public relations at 620.441.5921 or via email at docarnett@sckrmc.org.]