Visitors to Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) enjoy an ever-changing array of cheery seasonal and holiday displays in the window of the hospital gift store, the Dogwood Shop. This is thanks to the creativity and efforts of two longtime volunteers, Kathy Butterfield and Trudy Purdy, who together have 99 years of service to LGH.
Kathy Butterfield has been volunteering at LGH for an astounding 59 years. She had planned to become a nurse, but after the arrival of four babies, she instead decided to contribute through volunteering at the LGH Auxiliary. “With small children at the time, it was a nice break to come to a monthly meeting!” says Kathy.
Since joining in 1960, Kathy has worked in a number of areas, but has spent the most time in the gift shop. Making use of her artistic talents, she spent many years painting festive windows throughout the hospital and now sets her eye for design on the gift shop windows. “After 59 years, I’m still having fun, and truly enjoy my volunteer experiences,” she says.
Trudy Purdy hit her 40-year service milestone in 2018. She worked as a medical office assistant for many years, volunteering at LGH in her spare time. Trudy has worked at reception/information desk, the nursery group and was chair of the Christmas Decorating Committee for many years – which involved creating holiday magic around the hospital and the less glamourous job of packing it all up again!
Trudy now spends her time at the Dogwood Shop where, in addition to working in the shop, she and Kathy bring a smile to LGH visitors with their fun and festive window displays. Asked what she gets out of volunteering, Trudy says, “You come home with a good feeling that you’ve done something useful, knowing that you’re helping people.”
“I can’t say enough about these two,” says Rocio Andrews, VCH Coastal manager of volunteer resources. “Kathy is a wonderful human being who’s always ready with a smile and Trudy is an exemplary, kind and talented volunteer who brings great enthusiasm to everything she does. Together they are a force to be reckoned with – I call them my ‘dynamic duo’.”
Around 500 people volunteer for VCH on the North Shore and contributed nearly 39,000 hours last year. Volunteers provide assistance to 50 programs in 20 locations across the North Shore. We’ll be sharing more about our hospital auxiliaries and volunteers in Squamish, Sechelt and Powell River the week of April 25.
April 7-13 is National Volunteer Week, a time to thank and celebrate volunteers across the country for their time and efforts. This year's theme is: “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities” to recognize the exponential impact of volunteers and how they lift our communities.