Resolve to help others this year by joining hospital auxiliary

The auxiliary does not resolve to raise more and do more. We just accept our challenges and recognize that we have great volunteers

New Year’s brings out the best of the resolutions. The auxiliary does not resolve to raise more and do more. We just accept our daily challenges and recognize that our auxiliary has a great group of volunteers, who show up every day to assist at the Superfluity Shop, in the gift shop and/or elsewhere in the hospital.

We sit in awe at our annual general meeting and wonder how it is that while having fun, we can raise a half-million dollars annually. And yet it is not all about the money.

The donations of sports equipment to our Superfluity Shop are sometimes overwhelming. When we receive more than we can sell, the Rotary will pick up the equipment with the extra books we supply to them for their book sale. The Rotary distributes the equipment to children who might otherwise not be involved in sports. Through the Rotary, we assisted 515 children in 2011.

The new maternity ward, to which we donated $1,000,000, has been a huge success. The baby bonnets that the newborns receive are lovingly knitted and presented to the new moms from the auxiliary. Between April and December 2011, 837 bonnets were delivered to maternity. During this nine-month period, there were more births than used to happen all year in our old ward.

Sometimes our hospital staff need that little bit of TLC themselves. At Tea from the Heart, a group of auxilians serve tea and delicious cookies using a beautiful donated tray, teapot and china cups, just to let the hospital staff know how much the community appreciates them.

The Junior Auxiliary, which consists of 60 students working in the hospital, is something we are very proud to sponsor. Each year we offer two of these students bursaries of $2,000, which they use to further their education in the medical field.

Every Christmas, the auxiliary is asked to make up packages for the residents in Dr. Hogg, Weatherby and Oceanside pavilions. This past season, we presented a total of 242 wrapped Christmas packages to the recreation therapists for their patients. We also made sure that Christmas cake was given to all staff and patients in our hospital, a special treat that has been given as far back as I can remember.

The auxiliary receives tremendous support from our patrons at the hospital gift shop and the Superfluity Shop. But I cannot let this opportunity pass without thanking Buy-Low Foods for the never-ending support of all of our events, from the Mother’s Day event at the Glades, to our flower therapy sessions for Oceanside residents.

Our community is a better place because of Buy-Low and their staff. And I could say the same thing about the Peace Arch News, unless their editor sees this line has been inserted.

So let’s get to the point. Have you made a resolution for 2012? Do you have the time and desire to make your community a better place? Resolve to join the auxiliary. Now.

Marylou Kirstein is past president of Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary Society.