Across the Province ~ Auxiliaries Coping With Covid

Mar 12, 2021 | Newsletter

DR Helmcken Hospital Auxiliary Celebrates their 50th Anniversary!

The two remaining Charter Members, Gertie McKeown and Gail Capostinsky, cut the anniversary cake when we celebrated 50 years on March 12, 2020.  Both are Life Members and remain active.”



Invermere Celebrates 110 years

The Invermere Health Care Auxiliary Society is celebrating its 110th Anniversary. In 2019-2020 alone, the society raised and donated $389,883 to:
East Kootenay Foundation for Health, Columbia Valley Hospice Society, Columbia House Enhancement Society, Students Scholarships and STARS Air Ambulance. Since 2001, $2,666,034 was raised and donated to enhance health care in the Columbia Valley.
In this photo, a cheque for the 2020 funds donated to the East Kootenay Foundation for Health ($25,143.34 for the Invermere Hospital and $10,000 for the Not Alone campaign). From right to left: Brenna Baker (EKFH Executive Director), Judith Reynolds (IHCAS member), Marilyn Donaldson (IHCAS Director), Sam Monfee (IHCAS Director/Past President), Edie Elias (IHCAS Director/President)

Stuart Lake Hospital Auxiliary in Ft St James

An Ires Panda Warmer for newborn babies was purchased for the hospital with funds raised by a very active auxiliary led by President Julie-Ann Mortenson.

Stuart Auxiliary not only looks after their babies!! They spent time at Halloween entertaining the residents of their long term care center!!

Prince George Auxiliary to University Hospital of Northern British Columbia

When Covid 19 outbreaks in the hospital long term care facility closed down the Thrift Shop, the auxiliary Facebook administrator Sue Lorrie organized a Facebook online auction! As of mid-February we have over 800 members bidding on the items. Bidding opens on Sunday, closes on Friday and the winning bidders pick up their treasures on Saturday at the Thrift Shop! Cash only sales have been very brisk!



South Cowichan Auxiliary

South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary has hosted about three Beer/burger and Silent Auctions. The local pub supplies everything, meat, chicken, or veg. burger, French fries, salad and one drink, at a certain price and we sell tickets at whatever price (within reason).
We usually start at 5 p.m. on a Sunday and finish about 7:30 p.m. We have a 4 piece band who entertains for the price of their dinner. The good thing is that at the same time we have a silent auction set up from 5 – 7 p.m.
During the month before the event all our members bring items for the silent auction. Some of the items are from businesses and we advertise their cards on our auction sheets. (Golf game for two, gourmet cupcakes, gift cards or products from local stores).

South Cowichan remembers the days when facemasks and social distancing were NOT part of their fund raising activities. Hopefully it won’t be long until they are back to fund-raising and fun!!

We also get a gift card from the Pub, plus items from our members.
At 7 p.m. we stop the bidding on the Auction and have everyone collect and pay for their items (the highest bidder gets the item).
Everyone is happy. It is a good way to get our members together in a different environment and enjoy an evening out. We all have fun doing it while we are really fundraising.

Sunshine Coast

Almost a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and we are still adjusting our expectations and protocols.
We continue to ensure that we can still operate and support healthcare on the Coast, while committing to protect the health and safety of our volunteers and clients. All of our SCHA services have adhered to Provincial healthcare guidelines through the use of plexi-glass dividers, sanitizers, regular, professional deep cleaning and mandatory use of masks or face shields. We have also followed regulations limiting the number of both volunteers and clients on site.

Following all these protocols has exacted a heavy toll on revenue (down 50%) as well as the number of volunteers willing to step forward. Dr. Bonnie Henry has control over our future. We closed for a second time as ordered. Initially, we tried reducing the number of days we were open. However, currently, we have been able to return to our standard number of days open (5), but have continued with reduce hours of operation. Our wonderful customers are still willing to line up outside the door and wait patiently to be admitted. Only 12 allowed in the store at any one time, with masks and hand sanitizing required by our ‘greeter’. Obviously a new volunteer position was created!

We are proud that together every obstacle has been surmounted and we are able to carry on, to the best of our ability. Our racks are full, puzzles, crafts and DVD’s are selling briskly. Dollar Days have become more frequent. There are big smiles behind everyone’s masks, if only they could be seen.

Edited from an article by Jacqui Jones-Cox – “Life in the Sunshine” Spring Edition

Powell River

As you know, many of our venues were closed this past April due to the pandemic shutdown. Some have re-opened with fewer hours of operation, such as the Economy Shop or the Red Cross HELP office. Handcrafters are working from their homes but the Gift Shop in the hospital has never re-opened. Others have not returned to venues because of fears of infection from the virus. Consequently, some of the members of the Health- Care Auxiliary have not paid their dues. In conversation with our President, Gerry Wray, it was felt that we should list these members as “on hiatus” and keep them on the Membership List.

Vanderhoof—St John’s Hospital Auxiliary

St. John Hospital Auxiliary would like to extend a great big THANK YOU to Marianne and Peter Giesbrecht of the Vanderhoof Tim Horton’s for the generous donation of $4 306.00. These funds were raised through the efforts of the 2020 TIM HORTON’S “SMILE COOKIE” CAMPAIGN and graciously donated to St. John Hospital Auxiliary. St. John Hospital Auxiliary will be using these funds towards the purchase of a Panda IRES, (baby warmer), for St. John Hospital. What a great way to finish off 2020! Thank you to all the “Smile Cookie” fans for participating in this great event and to the Vanderhoof Tim Horton’s Team for their continued support!

Disaster in Delta ~ Delta Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store Fire

December 27, 2020…..what a sad day for us. 2020 had already been a challenging year with COVID then a fire that started in our back alley in one of our garbage bins. The fire took out our donations alley as well as our old housewares store which we were using to hold our donations for the 72 hour COVID protocol. It was a real kick in the gut to say the least. We know it was not arson, but it was a person being careless. We have a problem with people rummaging through our bins and on this night it only took a cigarette to do a lot of damage.

It hit all of us very hard. The fire shut all 3 of our stores down immediately. We were already running at about 30% of pre COVID so to now be shut completely again was agonizing. As volunteers, we work tirelessly to raise funds for our local hospital. Our Auxiliary raises a substantial amount of money every year to go towards the care and comfort of the people in our community. We are all very proud of what our collective efforts do for our Hospital and our community.

We were not down for long…we have a great group of people that worked together to get a plan to reopen going ASAP. We were able to lease a property across the street and with a huge amount of logistics we have managed to make it work. We officially opened again the first week of February and have been extremely busy. The people of Ladner and our surrounding neighbours love and support our store and they miss us greatly when we are not open.

We are now all on track and looking forward to a better 2021.

Angela Smith
Thrift Store Coordinator


Coquitlam – Eagle Ridge Auxiliary

Saving the day for some Extended Care Residents!
Auxiliary members making the Fidget Mats & Comfort Dolls

I just witnessed a beautiful thing! One of the Clinical Nurse Educators called me to come and see what an impact the Fidget Mats and dolls are making on patients with delirium.
Yesterday a ‘Code White’ was called because a patient escalated and was acting out and hitting staff. They calmed her somewhat and gave her something different to focus on for the moment. At that time, the nurse educator ran back to her office to get a mat and doll. She brought them to the patient who immediately began to take care of the doll, wrapping her in the mat.
Today, the patient is focused on the doll, clutched to her breast, again wrapped in the mat. She is calm and loves to brag about her ‘baby’. This was one of three patients that in the last 2 days alone, have been calmed by the mats and dolls, giving them something to love and care for or to touch and feel comforted by.
Thank you for your efforts in creating these Fidget Mats and Comfort Dolls! I wish you could have seen this patient just now….it brought tears to my eyes! The impact your creations are having on the patients is incredible!
Warmly, Carmen Bressanutti
Eagle Ridge Hospital

Salmon Arm—Shuswap Lake Health Care Auxiliary

Presence of auxiliary volunteers missed at Salmon Arm hospital during pandemic—Salmon Arm Observer
Shuswap Lake Health Care Auxiliary still chips in two iPads so patients can connect with families during Covid lock downs.



Signs Seen Around the Province

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