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Grateful Doctors Hospital patient gives auxiliary $300 plus toys for kids
Chief Nursing Officer Pidge Gooch, center, gasps in excitement at a truck load of toys at the front door of Doctors Hospital. DHM Auxiliary President Johnette Shepherd was on hand to receive the gifts. Andrew Knopf, left, donated the toys to the auxiliary Tuesday afternoon to be given to hospitalized children. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Overjoyed with the care he received from Doctors Hospital of Manteca, Andrew Knopf decided he was going to show his appreciation the best way he could this week – he wrote out a personal check for $300 to show his gratitude and then went shopping for toys.

Knopf, who moved to Manteca from Merced recently, was not only complimentary of the nursing staff and the volunteer hospital auxiliary members, but also of what he saw as an exemplary housekeeping staff.

He first attempted to make a donation directly to staff members and then to the hospital, but he learned that was against hospital policy to accept monetary gifts.  Knopf learned that the Doctors Hospital Auxiliary was the one faction that could accept gratuities because they are a non-profit corporation.

The new resident of Manteca said he didn’t see anything special about people showing their appreciation and was puzzled that more people weren’t as giving as he thought they all should be in saying thank you for their treatment.

With that in mind, he went shopping at Walmart after his weeklong stay in the hospital, filling two shopping carts to the brim with toys the auxiliary members could present to youngsters at their bedsides.

There were story books, dolls and smaller toys of every description. He said he picked them all out himself and drove them up to the front door of the health care facility.

Chief Nursing Officer Pidge Gooch and Auxiliary President Johnette Ragsdale met Knopf at the front door of the hospital, thanking him for his generosity and above all his caring attitude toward the younger patients who would come through the front door.

Gooch noted that while DHM is not specifically a children’s hospital there are numerous children who are treated at the Manteca facility.  She added that there was not currently a closet of toys for the youngsters, adding that his donations would make a difference.