ER nurse Melanie Park has seen an increase in the number of visits to hospital emergency rooms by people experiencing homelessness. She blames the lack of homeless shelters in the Plant City, Florida, area.
Despite the challenges, Park has been doing her best to assist these patients and was recently recognized by HCA Florida Hospitals with a humanitarian award for her efforts.
Daily Nurse is proud to name Melanie Park our Nurse of the Week for her humanitarian work to aid Plant City’s homeless.
Park, a Plant City native, has been working as an ER nurse for 40 years. She has recently expanded her work beyond the HCA Florida Plant City emergency room, helping give homeless patients necessities after receiving medical care.
She calls the project “Mel’s Closet,” which Park launched after giving a patient new shoes six years ago.
“Her shoes were held together with rubber bands,” she recalls. “She was excited. She walked out straighter and with pride.”
‘Mel’s Closet’ is stocked with men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, which Park uses most of her money to supply.
After retirement, she plans to focus on Mel’s Closet full-time.
“It makes you feel good to make people feel good,” she says. “I was born in Plant City. This is my home. I want to make it a better place.”
If you’d like to donate items to support ‘Mel’s Care Closet,’ contact HCA Emergency Department Manager Derika Graham. ‘Mel’s Closet’s’ greatest need is socks and men’s and children’s clothing. Donations should be new items with tags.
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