National Volunteer Appreciation week is April 12 to 19. All of our volunteers make Peace Arch Hospital what it is.
At the present time, there are over 400 volunteers who make a difference in our community by donating their time to the hospital.
When a visitor arrives at the hospital, volunteers are there to assist them in finding the department they are looking for.
In Emergency, there are volunteers who help people who may be trying to find a friend or family member.
The gift shop in our lobby is staffed by volunteers. This is a place where one can shop for all sorts of things including books magazines and other items. This is always a busy place.
The flowers that are sold in our gift shop are all arranged by professional florists who are also volunteers. This enables us to give our customers good prices on our floral arrangements.
The Superfluity Shop on Prospect Avenue where we sell all types of clothing and household goods, has more than 100 volunteers who do numerous jobs, including cashiering, selling and pricing the donations that arrive daily at our back door. These tireless people are always ready to help our customers.
The Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary Society is made up of 10 groups who usually meet once a month. The types of events that they participate in include fashion shows, a golf tournament as well as a very successful linen sale and bridge luncheon. There are many other fundraisers throughout the year.
Our members volunteer for many reasons. It is a great way to meet people and contribute to the community. Many friendships have been formed when people have a common interest and work towards a common goal. We need people from all backgrounds and we benefit from all of their talents. With changes in society we need people with different skills. We have some young volunteers who are very computer-literate and they help some of us who are not so handy with computers.
Many young people are required to have volunteer hours in order to graduate from high school. Volunteering provides them with an opportunity to learn a new skill, which may direct them in a future career choice.
We have a junior auxiliary program and offer two bursaries a year to our volunteers who wish to continue their education in a medical field. We have had people work in our hospital who started out by volunteering as a young person.
Our auxiliary members are always invited to attend our monthly meetings and inform themselves of the daily operations of the auxiliary; they vote on financial decisions and activities as a whole.
The auxiliary is very prudent in how our funds are used. All our donations are spent only after serious consideration. We pride ourselves on having a very low overhead.
Most of us do not plan to come to the hospital, but events beyond our control send us here. By becoming a volunteer, you can plan to come to the hospital and make a difference.
If you would like to volunteer, please visit www.pahas.ca or pick up an application at the gift shop, Superfluity Shop or the information desk in the lobby.
Felicity Matthews writes monthly on behalf of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary.