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Pink Ladies take stock of gift shop
Inventory IMG 1934 copy
Two stylish handbags are included in the inventory count by Sharon Walther. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin

Working together taking inventory for a hospital gift shop can be fun if it is done with friends with the goal of $20,000 in annual profits to provide medical scholarships.
That’s what four Doctors Hospital (Pink Ladies) volunteers were doing on Monday. They were counting and posting stock on hand to determine what had been sold and what hadn’t moved in their gift shop off the main lobby – and,  of course,  what new stock had to be ordered.
Volunteer Supervisor Johnette Raggsdale, gift shop managers Anita Bates and Sharon Walther along with Cheree Blankenship were busy with pads and pencils in hand to tally up what was on their shop shelves and in a storage room down the hallway which is 25 percent the size of the some 300-square-foot shopping area.
Raggsdale was pitching in despite a compound fracture of her left arm that kept her in the hospital for a week recovering from a fall that had her also ordered to bed rest at home for several days.  Volunteers agreed they had done their best to keep her away, noting that she has such a passion for her hospital duties that it wasn’t in the cards – she continued to show up on a part time basis – after first calling in volunteer staff directions.
The shop stays up with the fashions from fine Infinity Scarves to handbags and Indian purses that range in price from $18 to $50.  And then there are the “Angels of Prayer” in just about every design on the volunteers’ top shelves.  Jewelry and contemporary watch designs grace their counter.
A silk long stemmed red rose bud has been a favorite for friends visiting hospital shut-ins and wanting to take something small but meaningful to their sick and injured friends.  There were only four left in the inventory posting.
“Who knows what is going to sell,” Walther said of their stock on hand. 
The problem is that the shop is too small to display all that the volunteers purchase at the gift shows in the Bay Area.  The women were so intrigued with what they were doing with a passion Monday, that they skipped lunch for their inventory duties.
Thirty different varieties of candies cram one set of shelves from the standard Hershey Bars to Baby Ruths along with the Cup of Golds that were so very popular more than 50 years ago and are still selling.  Licorice sticks – both black and red – that can be had for just 15 cents for two of each.  Then there are the pound boxes of See’s and smaller boxes that sell at Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter.
Small children’s  T-shirts that were found back in storage emblazoned with sayings like, “I’m the little brother,” and “I’m a big sister,” and are about to be given away to needy youngsters in the community simply because they are not moving.  Why? There wasn’t room for them to be displayed in the shop.
Volunteer Anita Bates wears a pair of “granny glasses” that are on sale on their counter saying  “they’re cute,” she said.
Fresh plants and silk roses were also part of the inventory – an annual piece-by-piece hand counting event taken on by a special group of the volunteers who work the gift shop regularly.  All costume jewelry and watches were listed in the inventory for $16 to $22 and are being offered for 25 percent off the regular prices in an effort to move the stock.
Inventory also showed a marked reduction in the amount of See’s Candy remaining in the volunteers’ shop as they sold all but a half dozen boxes over the holidays.
While the majority of the volunteers are women, several men have joined its ranks and add an important male perspective to the group especially in greeting consumers at the front door of the lobby.

To Contact Glenn Kahl, email gkahl@mantecabulletin.com.