Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | December 21, 2020

Caring Closet Helps Patients in Need

Treating the ill in Wake County can mean clothing them, too. After a growing number of patients began to arrive at Duke Raleigh Hospital without adequate attire, hospital team members and volunteers band together to create a new resource for those in need. The Caring Closet was born in October and is stocked with everything from sweatshirts and, pants to socks and shoes for patients in need upon discharge.

Tammy Vinsel and Tracy Hausfeld, co-chairs of the Duke Raleigh Hospital Guild, came up with the idea for the closet after learning that some patients arrive at the hospital for care in dirty clothes or lacking certain clothing items altogether.

“The first thing we did was ask the hospital communications team for leftover shirts from past events,” Hausfeld said. “Then we went online and got the best items we could afford in varying sizes, bagged them individually and labeled them.”

The Guild teamed up with Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Case Management Department to utilize a section of their office to set up the Caring Closet, and began spreading the word to team members of the closet’s availability.

Amy Binns, a case manager at Duke Raleigh Hospital, outfitted a homeless patient with a new pair of sweatpants.

“It meant a lot to me to be able to provide her something she really needed and to see how much she truly appreciated it,” Binns said.

Fellow Case Manager Christy Nance worked with a nurse after learning a patient had few clothes to discharge home with. She was able to provide them sweatpants, a shirt, and a pair of shoes.

“I’m so appreciative of the time and effort put into the Caring Closet,” Nance said. “Often times there are no resources and we have to say no to a lot of requests, so it has felt really great to be able to provide these needs for the patient.”

Those interested in helping to keep the Caring Closet stocked can donate directly to the Duke Raleigh Hospital Guild by contacted them at

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: