Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Donation!

As most of you know, Iowa has had a ROUGH August. August 10th will be one of those days that will live in infamy as 130 mph winds wiped out millions of acres of crops and leaving thousands without power in central Iowa. One of the main affected and densely populated towns was Cedar Rapids.

My uncle just got power back late on Tuesday night, there was a scramble for generators, gas stations in a 50 mile radius were jam packed and out of gas as there was no power in town. It was a mess and many are still without power even today. President Trump made a visit to Iowa to declare an emergency and FEMA is now assisting in the recovery.

Entire apartment buildings are still without power even now. So many are struggling financially because of COVID, this is just a cherry on the shit storm that is 2020.

I saw this and while I’m not good with a chainsaw and my schedule doesn’t really allow me to be a helper with the cleanup, I decided to organize a donation drive to replenish the emergency shelter in Cedar Rapids called the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter.

Many of my readers, friends, and coworkers gladly pitched in and we raised $575 to go towards supplies! I had so much fun shopping! They had a most needed list that I followed when making the purchase. I picked up a few donations from some local friends and My sister Kelli had a trunk full, my mom donated a whopping 50+ charity quilts! Check it out!

It was an EPIC success and they were so grateful.

I know I have a lot of readers that are also my moms readers – if you’ve ever donated any quilt tops or fabric you were also a part of this epic donation! Mom also gets people who make monetary donations to help her cover postage to get the quilts shipped where they were needed. I know how much I cherish each quilt I have and now to be able to provide that to those who are less fortunate – especially with the winter months coming- is just so special. Thank you!

Thank you also to the readers who donated! You guys are the best!

This was so much fun and has now inspired me to look into our own local and community needs to focus on giving back to our friends and neighbors who are hurting.

One thing I’ve learned through this is that Wal Mart only allows one bottle of hand sanitizer per customer – this includes teachers buying for their classroom and even people who are donating to homeless shelters. So if you see hand sanitizer, buy it and send it with your kids or grandkids to school or make a stockpile to donate to your own shelter or church. Food for thought!

Before you go, I have one request:

Help me out friends!
What makes a good nurse a good nurse?
I remember when I was just starting out, I was so desperate for any sign or validation that I was doing a good job. Recalling those anxious early days, it’s got me thinking.
Through your experience as a patient or as a nurse working with other nurses, what makes a good nurse a good nurse? Leave a comment below! I’m compiling answers for a new blog post!
Thanks guys!!



  1. Beth
    August 20, 2020 / 8:12 am

    A good night nurse is a ninja – never hear them come in and out when they do their thing. Especially awesome when trying to catch a few minutes shut eye when staying with a child.

  2. Lynne Nicholson UK
    August 20, 2020 / 12:56 pm

    A good nurse sees the person while treating the patient.

    I’ve had several appointments, treatments, and operations over the last decade and the nurses that took time to find out WHO I am so they treated me as a person rather than a list of symptoms or a procedure to be done were the best.

    Communication is also key… nearly 4 years ago I was told that I’d lots most of my sight, it was permanent, and would get worse over time. There was an injection that could slow things down . What I heard was “you’re going blind and we need to do an injection in your eyes” then everything was blah blah blah. It had taken the best part of 4 months between my optician seeing a problem and my hospital appointment and so I was content to wait for the appointment to come through (plus i was beginning to look towards Christmas preparation and got caught up in stuff so it was nearly four months later (In the New Year) when I realised it had been really too long and finally got a new appointment… it was too late for the treatment and I have no useful sight in my left eye because of it. If the communication had been better I would have known it was urgent and chased up sooner.

  3. Elle
    August 20, 2020 / 1:57 pm

    Compassion is the best trait of a good Nurse. The ability to make an anxious patient feel safe. The ability to talk a patient through a scary procedure so that it’s over before they realize it. The ability to make some kind of personal connection so the patient feels they have something in common.

    I’ve worked with hundreds over my career. These are the special Nurses that stand out for me.

    And in this age of computerized charting, having a Nurse who talks to me while charting, even though they cannot make eye contact? Priceless. Us oldies miss the days of taking a stack of charts into a patient room, sitting at the foot of their bed and charting while chatting 😉

    EXCELLENT!!!!!!!! spree of shopping and donating goods to your community. It truly takes a village.

  4. Stacie Young
    August 20, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    A good nurse, is a nurse that listens and helps problem solve a frustrating situation in my personal experience. A good nurse is a great listener and has a caring heart. She is willing to truly help get the patient home in a safe manner. I have noticed a lot of health professionals just want to hurry through the patient care process and they aren’t listening, truly hearing what the patient is saying. A good nurse understands that it is difficult for some patients to articulate what is happening with them medically. A good nurse also understands that sometimes it isn’t a medical issue with the patient but a head or heart issue. Sometimes patients just want to be heard and validated.

  5. GMA Jud
    August 20, 2020 / 4:38 pm

    I’ll have to second Stacie on this one—-Listen

  6. Kim J LeMere
    August 20, 2020 / 5:26 pm

    Thank you for making the donation to those in Cedar Rapids, the pictures of the storm damage are just shocking. I know each and every item you took will be greatly appreciated.
    To me a good nurse looks me in the eye when she/he comes into my room, reminds me what is there name and tells me why they have come in my room. I want to feel like a person, that the nurse cares about me. I think so many hospitals have cut the number of nurses in the facility that nurses spend there time on the run trying to care for there patients.
    Kalissa, thank you for being a nurse and caring for your patients.

  7. Karen Priar
    August 20, 2020 / 8:15 pm

    A good nurse is a compassionate nurse… someone who cares about you and takes the time to really listen to you. A good nurse is someone who isn’t cold and distant making you feel like you are only a number to her…a way to collect a paycheck. A good nurse loves her job; and it shows!

  8. mpv61
    August 20, 2020 / 8:33 pm

    A good nurse looks at both arms to see which has better veins and finds the vein in the first attempt! (Yes, there have been times I felt like a pincushion!) 😉

    Also a good nurse shows sympathy and empathy!

  9. Jeri Niksich
    August 20, 2020 / 9:09 pm

    I agree with all the commenters above, true compassion is number one! A nurse that will listen as well as explaining things in laymen terms. Make the patient feel like they are your only patient. A few months ago I was having a procedure done and was next in line (I felt like I was a cow in the cattle shoot, not a good experience!), A nurse wheeled me into the hall way next to the surgery room and left me with my mind going crazy with questions. After a few minutes I looked behind me and there she was sitting in a chair! She could have stood by me and calmed me down or even just a normal conversation to take my mind off being so nervous.

  10. Susan the Farm Quilter
    August 20, 2020 / 10:23 pm

    Great donation!!! That is so awesome of you! A good nurse listens and hears those things that we can’t articulate. They ask questions that will help us to be more specific is describing what s going on. They understand that our heart and head may be at a bit of a disconnect when the doctor tells us something and they are willing to talk to us afterwards to make sure we really understand what is going on. A good nurse looks at you when she is talking to you, if at all possible and treats you like a person, not a condition. They can tell when we are stressed and in need of some extra attention to calm down, especially before surgery.

  11. August 27, 2020 / 8:01 am

    Hi Kalissa
    Well done on your great job helping the shelter.
    I’d like to respond to your question of what makes a good nurse a good nurse question by telling you of a worse case scenario we experienced recently where we experienced both good and bad nurses.
    My husband had a knee replacement surgery on Aug. 6. With Covid 19, here in Canada we are not allowed to be in the hospital with our loved ones. Post surgery I did not have an opportunity to talk with his surgeon. It was 10 hours post surgery before I could even talk to his nurse. We discussed the fact that my husband has MS and suffers with chronic pain. And can not take acetaminophen. 4 days later my husband was discharged. During the time he was in hospital I was only able to talk with the nursing staff twice. I got him home and settled in and went to get his meds. They had given him Percocet which of course is poison to him. He also had one morphine tablet. The next morning his leg had ballooned up, was rock hard and hot to the touch. I called the surgeon. He is on vacation. I called my husbands specialist…..on vacation. I called our MD….days off. Luckily the physician covering was our family doctor who has treated my husband for 30 years. He said to call an ambulance. It arrived almost 2 hours later and then was called away to an injury accident. An ambulance was being dispatched from the city an hour away we were told. Then at the hour and a half point a dispatch supervisor called me to inform me that the ambulance hadn’t been dispatched, reviewed my hubby’s symptoms and the doctors orders. He told me the ambulance was being dispatched lights and sirens and would be there within half an hour. It was and the one attendant had been here the first time. She was almost in tears because she had never left a patient behind. She wanted me to go with my husband. I told her that they had already told me I would not be allowed in the hospital and I had no way to get home from the hospital 2 hours away. The next 24 hours was the same as before. I got to talk with his nurse once. She said he was settled and they were trying to get his pain controlled and hung up. They were too busy to talk to me until 9:00 the next night when my husband called and said he was being discharged. I called the nurse to confirm and asked if the swelling, hardness and heat had been checked out and if he had been switched to meds with no acetaminophen. She said it was all under control. I headed to the city to pick him up. Halfway there he called me to say they were keeping him another night. When I got back home I called and a new nurse was on shift. She said she was just getting updates on her patients and could I call back in an hour. Then to my surprise she called me in 45 minutes. She then went on to explain that the staff had missed the notes from the doctor, ambulance attendants and me. They were keeping him to have his leg ultrasound tested to check for blood clots which was what his doctor wanted. They were redoing his meds because he had been given Percocet and Mirphine in turn. They were going to try Tramadol. She would call me before she went off shift to update me. That was the difference between a good nurse and an inadequate nurse in my opinion. She took the time to read all available information and talked with me so she was aware of his quirks and needs. His previous nurse had not even known my husband has MS. The nurse did call me before going off shift. She said she had flagged his chart with an allergy to acetaminophen and that his ultrasound was booked for early afternoon. She said that after consultation with the technician, doctor and nurses I could expect a call around 2:00-3:00. My husband called at 2:00. I then called and talked to the nurse from the previous day. She said he was discharged and I could pick him up.. I was to called the hospital when I was in the parking lot and they would send him out. I did and they did. Got him into the car and home. I put my back out lifting him from the car but managed to get him in and settled. It was almost time for his meds so I got them out of his bag. They had sent him home with Tramacet; more acetaminophen. I did have his morphine left over from the first discharge so we did get through the night and had time to get the prescription filled at the pharmacy the next morning (a 2 hour round trip). All I can say is we did experience totally inadequate nursing and then had a great nurse that helped restore some of my faith in nurses.
    Sorry for the long winded rant, but my message is simple. A great nurse gathers information from the written notes, but also from listening to family of their patient. Who knows the patient better than their spouse? Who is less likely to forget things, or misremember them? A patient in pain or their spouse?

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