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Heart + Soul at LCHC

May 2024

Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street is proud to feature one of our local contributing businesses in the monthly Small Business Spotlight.

This month, we are featuring
Heart + Soul at LCHC. 


What is your job title and role?

My name is Kristine Kennedy, and I serve as the Volunteer Services Manager at Lucas County Health Center. In addition to my role within the hospital, I am honored to manage the Heart + Soul, our hospital gift shop.

Describe your business

Our hospital gift shop is more than just a convenience; it's a haven for those seeking thoughtful and unique gifts in the midst of their healthcare journey. As a small, yet vibrant establishment nestled with LCHC, we specialize in curating a diverse selection of giftable items tailored to the needs and tastes of our patients, visitors and staff.

Our approach is simple yet impactful. We meticulously handpick each item with care, ensuring that our shelves are adorned with treasures that bring joy and comfort to those who walk through our doors. From cheerful balloons and soothing slippers to personalized keep sakes and affordable options, our inventory is thoughtfully curated to offer something special for every occasion.

What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to providing a personalized shopping experience. Our dedicated team, comprised of volunteers, goes above and beyond to foster a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Whether it's assisting customers to finding the perfect gift or simply lending a listening ear, we strive to make every interaction meaningful and memorable.

In essence, Heart + Soul is not just a place to purchase gifts; it's a beacon of comfort and compassion without our healthcare community. We take pride in being a trusted destination where moments of care and connection are celebrated through the art of gifting.



Why do you do what you do?

Heart + Soul serves three distinct purposes within our community. Primarily we function as a sanctuary, providing respire for patients, visitors, and staff amidst the stressors of health-related challenges. Our store offers a breath of fresh air, offering solace during times of heightened anxiety. Our dedicated volunteers, who manage the gift shop, establish genuine connections with our patrons, ensuring everyone feels embraced upon arrival.

Additionally, we prioritize convenience, offering a comprehensive solution for gifts, personal necessities, and exclusive items not available elsewhere locally. As a one-stop destination, we streamline the shopping experience of our customers. 

Furthermore, our mission extends to supporting the health center. Through our operations, we generate profits that are reinvested back into the health center, enhancing facilities, acquiring equipment, and addressing broader healthcare needs. At Heart + Soul, every purchase directly contributes to the betterment of our community's health and well-being.

What inspires you to keep at it each day?

What inspires us to keep at it each day is the profound impact we have on the lives our patients, visitors, and staff. Knowing that we play a small but meaningful role in brightening someone's day during challenging times is incredibly motivating.

Every smile we see, every heartfelt "thank you" we receive, reaffirms our purpose and fuels our dedication. We are inspired by the opportunity to bring comfort, joy, and a sense of normalcy to those navigating the complexities of healthcare.

Moreover, our inspiration stems from the strong sense of community that permeates our hospital gift shop. We are privileged to witness the power of human connection as patients receive tokens of love and support from their families, friends, and caregivers. It's these moments of shared humanity that reminds us why we do what we do. 

Additionally, our commitment to supporting the broader mission of LCHC drives us forward. Knowing that our efforts directly contribute to enhancing the overall well-being of our community keeps us motivated to strive for excellence each day.

In essence, our inspiration lies in the profound impact we have on other sand the collective spirit of compassion that defines our hospital gift shop. We are honored to be a beacon of hope and positivity within the healthcare landscape, and that is what inspires us to keep at it with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.


What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?

As a small business operating within the healthcare sector, we face several significant challenges that we continually strive to overcome. One of our foremost obstacles is the increasing shift towards online shopping, which presents a unique set of challenge for our brick-and-mortar establishment. 

The convenience and accessibility of online shopping pose a that to traditional retail outlets like ours, as customers increasingly turn to digital platforms for their purchasing needs. While we recognize the importance on embracing technology and expanding our online presence, navigating the complexities of e-commerce presents challenges such as logistics, marketing, and competition with larger online retailers.

Furthermore, the high cost of sourcing quality products and maintaining inventory adds another layer of challenge. As a small gift shop within a healthcare facility, we prioritize offering a diverse range of unique and high-quality items to our customers. However, procuring these products at competitive prices while still ensuring a reasonable profit margin can be a delicate balancing act.

Despite these challenges, we remain committed to our mission of providing a welcoming and inclusive shopping experience for patients, visitors, and staff alike. Through innovation, adaptability, and a steadfast dedication to our community, we strive to overcome these obstacles and continue serving as a beacon of comfort and support within our healthcare facility.

What are your biggest rewards?

Our biggest rewards stem from the meaningful connections we forge with our patients, visitors, and staff on a daily basis. Witnessing the genuine smiles, heartfelt expressions of gratitude, and sense of relief that our products and services bring to individuals facing health-related challenges is incredibly rewarding.

The relationships we cultivate with our customers extend beyond mere transactions; they represent moments of shared humanity and compassion. Hearing stories of how a small token of appreciation brightened someone's day or provided much-needed encouragement reminds us of the profound impact we have on others. 

Equally rewarding is the opportunity to support our dedicated healthcare staff, who work tirelessly to care for our community. By providing them with convenient access to essential items and a welcoming environment to recharge and rejuvenate, we contribute to their well-being and morale, fostering a sense of unity and support within our healthcare facility.

Ultimately, our biggest rewards come from knowing that we have made a positive difference in the lives of those we serve. Whether it's through a thoughtful gift, a kind gesture, or simply being a source of comfort and support, we take pride in being a trusted ally in the journey towards health and healing.


What will people get from your business that they won't get anywhere else?

What sets Heart + Soul apart is our unwavering commitment to providing a personalized and compassionate shopping experience that goes beyond the mere transactions. Unlike larger retail outlets or online platforms, our boutique gift shop offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere where customers are greeted with genuine hospitality and personalized attention. Our dedicated volunteer team takes pride in establishing meaningful connections with each individual who walks through our doors, ensuring that every shopping experience is memorable and enjoyable,

Moreover, our emphasis on supporting the broader mission of Lucas County Health Center sets us apart from other retail establishments. Every purchase made at Heart + Soul directly contributes to the betterment of our healthcare facility, as profits are reinvested back into initiatives aimed at enhancing patient care, improving facilities, and supporting healthcare staff.

In essence, what people will get from Heart + Soul that they wont find anywhere else is a unique bled of heartfelt compassion, personalized service, and a genuine commitment to supporting the health and well-being of our community. Whether it's finding the perfect gift for a loved one, seeking solace during a difficult time, or simply enjoying a moment of respite in our welcoming environment, patrons can expect an experience that transcends traditional retail and leaves a lasting impression on their hearts.


Learn more about Heart + Soul at:


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