Royal Columbian Hospital on the hunt for volunteers

If you’ve got a bit of spare time and a desire to contribute the community, the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary would like to hear from you.

The auxiliary raises money to buy much-needed equipment for Royal Columbian Hospital by running the New to You thrift shop at 416 East Columbia St., as well as the lottery booth and gift shop in the lobby of Royal Columbian Hospital.

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“We are really needing volunteers again,” said Lindy Kirkwood, a member of the auxiliary.

The auxiliary needs a volunteer who is able to work at its lottery booth on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and volunteers who can work at the hospital’s gift shop on weekends. The thrift store, which is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is also in need of volunteers, especially cashiers.

“One of the reasons we want volunteers for the thrift shop is we want to try to extend our hours to 4 p.m.,” Kirkwood said. “With more people, we might be able to arrange that.”

Kirkwood has volunteered at the thrift store for about a year-and-a-half.

“I really love working there because it is a really great, fun, friendly atmosphere,” she said. “The customers, too, are really great people.”

As reported in the Record, thieves broke into the New to You thrift store in mid-December and stole $1,000 to $1,500 worth of jewelry. The auxiliary is grateful to the community for the outpouring of support and donations it received following the break-in.

“We were inundated in January,” Kirkwood said. “The other thing is, the thrift store is busier. It means we need more people because we are busier.”

Last year, the auxiliary purchased $110,000 worth of equipment for the hospital.

“I think we are going to be able to purchase more than that this year; our numbers aren’t quite finalized,” Kirkwood said. “We bought 19 pieces of equipment, or more, because sometimes there is more than one thing.”

Pulse oximeters (portable monitors that go on patients’ fingers to determine the oxygen levels in their blood), chairs that help people stand and move around, and vein finders that help hospital staff locate patients’ veins are just some of the items the auxiliary has purchased for the hospital.

“It’s exciting to see these things. I am always at the thrift shop telling people about what we’ve bought,” Kirkwood said. “I like telling the customers – look, this is what we are doing with the money you have spent here, we are buying equipment for the hospital that helps people. It helps the staff and the patients. It’s fabulous – that’s why I think it is a really worthwhile volunteer job.”

Anyone able to volunteer with the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary can contact Kathy Corbeil at 604-520-4482 (kathy.corbeil.fraserhealth.ca) or Louise Peters at 604-520-4237 (louise.peters.fraserhealth.ca).

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