Seniors find ways to help in the community

Members of Abbeyfield House stuff envelopes for the WCGH Hospital Auxiliary. - ORLANDO DELANO/Special to the News
Members of Abbeyfield House stuff envelopes for the WCGH Hospital Auxiliary.
— image credit: ORLANDO DELANO/Special to the News

For almost a decade, the seniors from Abbeyfield have assisted the West Coast General Hospital Foundation by stuffing envelopes that are mailed to each household in the Alberni Valley, Ucluelet, and Tofino each year.

These envelopes contain information about the foundation and its efforts to raise money and how people can help to donate to it.

Walter Winkler, longtime hospital foundation board member, has coordinated this campaign for many years. He says that the foundation raises funds to purchase equipment for the hospital that the government does not fund.

“Thanks to the members of the Sunshine Club and the residents of Abbeyfield, we are able to mail these envelopes to the citizens of the Valley and the West Coast. In the past, we were helped by students and other senior groups, such the residents of Echo Village,” says Winkler.

“I’ve been doing this for the past six years”, says Joyce van Ingen, resident of Abbeyfield. “We set up tables in our living room and we, most of the residents, work until we finish the job. I think this year we stuffed about 4,000 envelopes and we did it in three days.

“Some residents, like Harvey Dion, worked very hard to do it.”

Another resident, Eileen Unger, said that helping an organization that helps others is a good cause. “No doubt that the hospital foundation does an excellent job by raising funds for equipment we all might use some day,” she adds.

Muriel Thompson adds: “I had  hope that it helped”.

Those in the community who contribute to the hospital foundation receive a quarterly newsletter, which also includes information on the Lifeline services, under the umbrella of the Hospital Foundation and successfully run by manager Sandy Lightfoot.

“This year 12,000 envelopes were mailed. The hospital foundation truly appreciates the cooperation of the Valley’s seniors,” adds Winkler.

Yvette Cowley, also resident of Abbeyfield commented: “For us, to stuff envelopes gives us something to do. Myself, I can’t sit and do nothing, so this is a good opportunity to keep me busy.”

Ben Thomas added: “For me it was lots of fun, but I couldn’t talk too much because I was afraid of losing my concentration while doing the envelopes.”

“This was my second year helping with the envelopes, and I am glad I took part because it is for a good cause,” Nelda Stainbrook said.

Here is a list of some of the items purchased by the hospital foundation:

Mammogram Machine, Cosy Cot Radiant Warmer, Autoinfusion IV Pump, Fetal Monitor, Angel Lift,VAC Pumps, Intubation Instrument, Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator, Urology Equipment, Bladder Scanner and so much more.

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