BIG SANDY — The Jerry Martin Center on Big Sandy’s Main Street was transformed into an indoor thrift shop, open to the public both Thursday and Friday.
Volunteers have been busy setting up the event since Monday. "Probably 80% of the workers that volunteer here are over the age of 65. So we start Monday morning at 8:00 and we work until Friday 5:00,” says Lisa Sipler, the President of the Big Sandy Medical Guild.
“A lot of our workers are going to put in five very long days. But like I said, it's all worth it because that money does come back and stays in our community,” says Anna Bold, one of the many volunteers. She also serves on the hospital’s board.
Donations were made by community members from Loma to Box Elder and Havre to Fort Benton. Everything from toys, books, records, clothing, glassware and more was available at low prices. All proceeds benefit the Big Sandy Medical Guild.
With these proceeds the Guild is able to make purchases which help the hospital run more efficiently.
“We've bought anywhere from wheelchairs to hospital gowns to I.V. poles, concentrators. Last year, all of our money went towards the remodel of our kitchen,” says Sipler.
The hospital in Big Sandy is considered a critical access hospital- the only center which provides in-depth medical services for miles and miles around.
Included was the famous pie social, featuring over a dozen flavors, all made by volunteers and members of the Medical Guild. Big Sandy native, Jon Tester even stopped by for a slice.
The event provides inexpensive products for residents, who then benefit from a much-needed service.
“A lot of things are fifty cents. It's more being able to supply folks with things that they need, and at the same time we're able to raise funds for our medical guild and the projects that they're putting forth for our medical center,” says Bold.