TUPELO, Miss.—First United Methodist Church of New Albany recently donated 20 backpacks filled with necessities for homeless patients being discharged from North Mississippi Medical Center.
Rush Butler, a certified nursing assistant who works nights on NMMC’s 3 Central, recognized the need shortly after joining the NMMC staff in March. “When I ask my patients what they are looking forward to when they go home, they all say, ‘sleeping in my own bed’ or ‘being with family’ or something like that,” Butler said. “I realized that our homeless patients really are happy to be here because they’re comfortable, they have a bed and they’re getting three meals a day.”
Butler said rather than “just kind of sending them back out into the world” emptyhanded, he thought perhaps there was something he could do. He sought permission from nurse manager Brianna Scott and then enlisted help from fellow church members.
The church filled backpacks with items like socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, wet wipes, soap, shampoo and a Bible. NMMC’s backpacks are available not only on Butler’s unit, but to patients on any floor at the hospital. They also donated backpacks to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.
A December 2019 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Butler is working toward his goal of medical school. Meanwhile, he’s making a difference at NMMC. Backpacks for homeless patients will be an ongoing project; anyone wanting to donate is asked to contact First United Methodist Church of New Albany.backpacks, First United Methodist Church, homeless, New Albany, North Mississippi Medical Center, Northeast Mississippi, Tupelo, Union County