"We cannot physically be there to help our fellow nurses so we offer this Labor Day 'Labor of Love' challenge in an effort to do what we can to help," said Sandra Taylor of Bladen County Hospital.
"We've had some difficult times around here as a result of hurricanes in the past, but nothing like what those folks in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are going through now," said Taylor.
Taylor said that news reports have indicated that many of the hospitals are without electricity and some are totally unusable.
"Tuesday night when I was watching a news program, I saw a report of a hospital that had just lost its backup generator, and the nurses were having to manually ventilate their patients," Taylor explained. "I realized we had to do something.
"The Red Cross officials were telling people not to just show up there to help-probably because they were trying to evacuate people and didn't want others coming in," Taylor said. "But the Red Cross and Salvation Army were asking for donations. They said monetary donations could be used to help with the massive relief effort their organizations are undertaking.
"We got together this morning (Wednesday) at the hospital and Geanene Marshall, who has been very instrumental in getting the effort organized, suggested the Labor of Love idea. We started calling radio stations and other hospitals. We've tried to reach as many people as we could. We even faxed a copy to the North Carolina Nurses Association."
Taylor said the money would be donated to American Red Cross or Salvation Army.
"The needs in that area are enormous, virtually everything you can think of is needed, from medical supplies to the simplest necessities of life-water, food, you name it," she said. "The medical community in the area is under unbelievable pressure to try to help in conditions it is hard for us to even imagine.
"Not only are they depended on to provide medical care for the many who need medical attention in the aftermath of the storm, they have families themselves who have also been affected by the storm," she said.
"I'm sure there's not a one of us who wouldn't be there to help if we could," she said. "But we realize that that's not possible. One thing we can do, however, is give what we can to try to help-and that's what we here at Bladen County Hospital are doing. We hope all nurses throughout the region take our challenge and join the effort."