With the mandatory closure of non-essential stores amid the COVID-19 outbreak, few area shopping options are available to Massachusetts General Hospital staff and its patients. The hospital is fortunate to have its MGH General Store & Flower Shop on the main campus open and ready to provide necessities, including scrubs, shoes and phone chargers, as well as a variety of snacks.

The General Store is supported by the LVC, the hospital’s 151-year-old volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the patient experience. All shop proceeds support the store’s staff and go directly back into the hospital to fund initiatives and programs throughout the institution.

“We have family members of patients who cannot visit and are thrilled to be able to send flowers or balloons to a patient’s room,” says JoAnne Lynch, administrative director for the General Store. “Many have sent food and snack baskets to nurses and care teams in appreciation for taking care of their family members. It’s important that we are here for employees and family members during this difficult time.” 

It is also important to retain some sense of normalcy during challenging times. Although Patriots’ Day looks very different this year due to the postponement of the Boston Marathon, some Mass General traditions stand strong. Each year, the retail stores offer “MGH Strong” T-shirts to recognize the hospital’s marathon teams—and show Mass General pride—and this year is no different.

The MGH Strong shirts, like other merchandise in the General Store, also are available to be shipped by ordering online or calling the store directly. Store officials say they’ve received calls from friends, family and members of the public looking for ways to say thank you Mass General employees. Gift cards are available and can will be delivered directly to an employee or department.

“Mass General staff are some of the greatest supporters of our grant programs,” says Pamela Oswald-Louis, chair of the LVC. “We are looking forward to reinstating our normal grant activity and coming back stronger than ever. Until then, shopping at the General Store is a great small way to give back.”

As the Mass General community continues to pull together, the General Store is now offering 10 percent off to employees in appreciation of their hard work. Preferred card holders will receive an additional 10 percent off.

For more information, call the General Store at 617-726-2227, or visit https://mghgeneralstore.myshopify.com/.