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New West hospital’s auxiliary needs board members – and volunteers, too

Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary looking to fill secretary and treasure roles on its board.
Volunteers are needed to fill vacancies on the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary board and at its fundraising locations, including the New to You Thrift Shop.

If you’re looking for a way to give back to the community, the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary could use your help.

Lindy Kirkwood, the auxiliary’s president, said the hospital auxiliary’s board is currently looking for two board members, after its secretary and the treasurer announced they were resigning.

“They are volunteer positions. The board meets every two months in person, usually on the first Sunday of the month. June is our next meeting,” she said. “The role of the board is to oversee and guide our two programs: Fundraising and Patient Comfort.”

Fundraising includes the auxiliary’s Royal Columbian Hospital gift shop, lottery booth, book cart in the hospital, as well as its New to You Thrift Shop.

“We purchase requested equipment for many areas/departments of RCH,” Kirkwood said. “Last year we raised and spent $170,000, and this year will be higher – possibly $200,000 for the first time ever.”

The auxiliary’s Patient Comfort programs include the emergency clothing cupboard (for anyone needing clothing to leave the hospital upon discharge), kids’ packs for any children in the emergency department, heart pillows for post-op open-heart surgery patients, renal belts for dialysis patients, personal care items for patients without support, and baby layettes for low-income new mothers.

While the auxiliary’s current priority is to fill the two vacancies on its board, Kirkwood said it also needs volunteers for its various fundraising venues – the gift shop and lottery booth inside Royal Columbian Hospital and the thrift shop in uptown New West.

“This year, our fundraising venues truly evolved from the pandemic slow-down,” she said. “Our gift shop profits have vastly improved, even from last year. We have many of our weekdays covered by volunteers for two shifts, but we still need volunteers for weekends.”

Royal Columbian Hospital would like the auxiliary to open the gift shop on weekends so it’s available to staff.

Kirkwood said the lottery booth, located in the lobby of Royal Coubman Hospital, is also showing a jump in profits over last year. She said the auxiliary is almost covered for two shifts on weekdays, but it is still looking for weekend volunteers.

The New to You Gift Shop was just down the road from the hospital on East Columbia Street for years, before moving to 706 Sixth Ave. in 2021.

“The New to You Thrift Shop has done remarkably in the uptown location,” Kirkwood said. “In our first full year last year, we saw profits of $130,000. This year it will be about $150,000. That is way more than double we ever made in Sapperton.

Volunteers are always needed at the New to You Thrift Shop.

“We always looking for volunteers as people come and go, take vacations, have surgeries, go back to school, etc.,” Kirkwood said. “There are about 50 volunteers working at NTY.”

Anyone who would like to apply for secretary or treasurer positions on the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary board is asked to send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]

All other volunteers may apply online.

Students are welcome to volunteer, but the minimum age to volunteer at Royal Columbian Hospital is 18. Students must be in Grade 12 to volunteer at the New to You Thrift Shop.