For quarter of a century, Ginger McCracken and a faithful group of seven or eight volunteers have fashioned "tray favors" to brighten the day of patients at Mobile Infirmary.
Always around the holidays--seven times a year--the volunteers for Mobile Infirmary Auxiliary would gather at the hospital or at one of their homes to create colorful, cheerful napkin rings, magnets, tiny floral arrangements or other item to be placed on patients' dinner trays.
"We made 300 favors at each meeting, more than 52,000 over the past 25 years," McCracken said.
But recently the group learned that the Auxiliary was going in a different direction and would no longer need the tray favors. The loss of this volunteer activity saddened the entire group, and especially McCracken, who spent many hours between work sessions planning the favors, shopping sales for the materials, designing the prototype.
"We will all miss creating the favors, knowing they would cheer up patients who were away from their families, maybe going through a rough time near Christmas or Valentine's Day," McCracken said. "And we will miss each other and the enjoyment we got from being together, doing something nice for someone else."