Across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), our auxiliaries and volunteers give their time and their talents to support patients, clients and residents in their communities.
The Coastal Community of Care has five hospital and health care auxiliaries. Devoted to providing for patients in their communities, collectively, the auxiliaries have over 400 volunteers who make a difference through Bingo, music, volunteer grocery shopping, gift shops and thrift shops.
Over the last five fiscal years, the Auxiliary to the Lions Gate Hospital has donated more than $1.1 million to support patient care at LGH and Evergreen House through sales at its gift and thrift shops. Its volunteers donated nearly 26,000 hours last year alone and funds raised support important medical equipment and patient programs.
(Photo: Members of the Lions Gate Hospital Auxiliary at their thrift shop.)
Some of the communities they serve are smaller, but all are full of people with giant hearts. “The outpouring of donations from Powell River is unbelievable," Powell River Health-Care Auxiliary president Phylliss Jacobsen said to the Powell River Peak. Last year, the auxiliary raised $552,000.
Sometimes a personal touch makes all the difference. Not only does the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary raise funds for equipment and services, its volunteers knit caps for every baby born at Sechelt Hospital, hold birthday parties for Totem and Shorncliffe residents and distribute comfort bags to chemo patients.
In 2017, the Squamish General Hospital Auxiliary Society celebrated 65 years of service to its community. Its volunteers run the hospital gift shop and have donated funds for critical equipment including an ECG, Lifepack defibrillator and an ultrasound machine.
In Richmond, the auxiliary has been a pillar of the community since the early 1960s. Supporting the comfort and care of patients in Richmond Hospital, Minoru Residence and Lions Manor, the auxiliary has contributed over $8 million to date. The funds it raises support patient programs as well as the purchase of medical equipment.
In addition, the auxiliary provides free membership to 200 Richmond Hospital volunteers who are welcome to participate in auxiliary fundraising programs and special events.
(Photo: Ursula Can Duin, manager of the thrift shop and president of the auxiliary. Photo credit: Chung Chow, from the Richmond Sentinel.)
While Vancouver doesn't have an auxiliary, a mighty group of volunteers runs the VGH Thrift Store. The store has donated more than $250,000 towards the purchase of equipment, renovations, clothing and comfort items for VCH-Vancouver patients, clients and residents.
Currently, the store is raising $50,000 to purchase a rapid infuser for the VGH Emergency Department.
(Photo: VGH Thrift Store volunteers with manager James (front left) stand in front of the shop.)
“You don't think about how you're contributing to a greater cause as you are pricing items," reflects Brian Jones, VGH Thrift Store Society Board president. “It's not until you sit down and reflect that you get those warm and fuzzy feelings that make it all worthwhile."
Read more about our VGH Thrift Store volunteers in the Volunteer Week in the East Village BIA Volunteer Week blog. Interested in volunteering at the VGH Thrift Store? Apply today. Want to support or donate? Learn more here.
Thank you to our auxiliaries and volunteers for everything you do for our patients, clients and residents!