Among the colorful balloons, get well cards, specialty candies, and children’s toys, it’s the people that make up the heart of Bobbe’s Gift Shoppe in Froedtert Hospital.

“The gift shop is a really fun place to be,” shares Barbara Albiniak, Director of Volunteer Services. “Especially during the stress of COVID, the shop has been a peaceful escape for our visitors and staff. But we couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of our amazing volunteers.”

Cindy was inspired to volunteer at Froedtert Hospital as a ‘thank you’ for the wonderful care she received as a cancer patient at Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital. “When I called volunteer services, I felt so lucky to find out there was an opening in the gift shop! I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be volunteering in the hospital system. I feel like I’m giving something back to Froedtert. They saved my life or extended it substantially.”

Bobbe’s Gift Shoppe has a rich history of volunteerism and community impact. The shop was founded by Froedtert Hospital Volunteer Associates and is named in honor of Bobbe Petasnick - a stellar volunteer and the late wife of William Petasnick, former Froedtert Health President & CEO. Following a merger five years ago, the gift shop is now an operational department of Froedtert Hospital, but its mission to serve and focus on philanthropy remains the same.

Over the past 41 years, Froedtert volunteers have raised a remarkable $3.6 million for the hospital. “All of those candy bars and soft drinks add up!” jokes Barbara. “Our volunteers are so proud to be a part of the gift shop. We’re also the second largest annual donor to Froedtert.”

Along with stocking shelves, assisting customers, and handling purchases, the volunteers help decide the use of the shop’s donations. “We have an advisory council that reviews requests each year,” shares Barbara. Net proceeds from the gift shop and other volunteer fundraising efforts have supported the hospital’s Simulation Center, new medical equipment, renovation projects, and patient-care experiences such as activity carts, support groups, free massages, and comfort dogs.

Recently, the generosity of our volunteers was used to purchase a Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Machine for the Froedtert Hospital Clinical Cancer Center. RFA is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that treats cancerous and noncancerous lesions. Previously, Mayo Clinic was the only healthcare system in the Midwest that offered this novel treatment. “The impact of this equipment is significant, as we already have a waiting list and anticipate treating at least five patients a month at our main campus,” shares Dr. Kate Sweeney, Director of the Cancer Center Hematology and Transplant Services. “This therapy will be life-changing for many people in our community and across the state.”

It's this incredible impact that brings volunteers like Cindy back to Bobbe’s Gift Shoppe week after week. “Everything people purchase does help the hospital and people in need. I just love volunteering here,” she says with pride. “I’m told at least once a day how wonderful our gift shop is.”

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Yachira
Martinez
on August 15, 2022 - 10:03 am

Good morning
Looking for information on how due I go about getting flowers and a bear delivered to a patient’s room.

Thank you and stay safe.

Froedtert
& MCW
on August 15, 2022 - 2:47 pm

Hi Yachira,
Thank you for your question. You are able to send flowers to a patient’s room from a florist however, the gift shop does not sell flowers. Other gifts may be purchased and sent directly to a patient’s room from Bobbe’s Gift Shoppe. For more information, please visit froedtert.com/patients-visitors/gift-shop.
Thank you.