Rush to Help

While Rush has other fundraisers through the year to support its Employee Benevolent Fund, officials say none is more popular than the silent auction.

Items are donated by employees or businesses, sold to the highest bidder, and the money is set aside for when employees have a special need.

"If they have some type of crisis and they're unable to meet those needs, things catch them off guard, and we've been able to minister to a lot of different employees and it has been real beneficial to them," said chaplain Dennis Duvall.

The hospital cannot participate due to IRS restrictions, but employees have raised thousands of dollars to help co-workers and even retirees and their families.

Rush vice president Donnie Smith said over 40 gifts, or grants as they're called, have been made in the past three years.

"When an employee has some hardship in their life, they make an application, and it's a non-refundable grant we give them," said Smith.

Smith says it gets very competitive toward the end with some items going above market value, and some employees give to the Benevolent Fund all year through payroll deduction.

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