In the rush to an emergency room, is there time to think about what to wear? Of course not, and that’s where the Clothing Rooms, located in all three Saskatoon hospitals, come in.

Clothing Room

Clothing rooms, staffed by volunteers, are available at all three Saskatoon hospitals for patients who need them.

“There are a number of reasons why clothing rooms are necessary. A child can become sick, clothing may be cut off during an ambulance ride, or in the rush, a winter coat can be forgotten,” says Jackie Edwards, with Volunteer Workforce Service Initiatives, the department that oversees the Clothing Rooms. “Not every patient has the means or even the family available to bring them needed articles of clothing.”

In less than a year at Royal University Hospital, from September 2010 to May 2011, nearly 200 articles of clothing were given out to adults and children (54 pairs of pants, 75 shirts, 31 coats and 40 pairs of shoes or boots). Staff track what articles of clothing are given out to patients, giving Volunteer Workforce an idea what is needed most. Many units accessed clothing, including 50 articles to Emergency, 26 to nursing units and 10 to the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health.

Donated by staff, the public and volunteers, clothing is sorted into categories and checked to ensure it is acceptable. Ideally, the clothing provided is loose fitting, has an elastic waist, and fits a variety of sizes.

Last year, a welcome corporate donation saw DAWGS footwear of Saskatoon provide a large donation of shoes of all sizes to enhance the selection for the patients. And this year they continue to support the program.

“It is a pleasure to work at RUH and I love what I do there,” says Anne Kadyschuk, a volunteer in the Clothing Room at RUH. “Working in the clothing room is a way that I can help the patients and makes it easier for the staff by keeping everything organized for them. I believe in contributing to the community and it is a privilege to have this opportunity to give my time at RUH.”
Clothing from the Clothing Rooms is available to each Social Work department and most nursing units. Contact Security or the Volunteer Workforce Service Initiative staff to receive the service.
If you would like to make a donation, contact the Volunteer Workforce Service Initiatives Office at your site.