AUXILIARY NOTES: Peace Arch Hospital runs on volunteers

Nearly 400 volunteers donate more than 57,000 hours annually to White Rock's Peace Arch Hospital.

At Peace Arch Hospital, nearly 400 volunteers donated more than 57,000 hours of time to our organization last year.

These are the people who help make PAH a centre for excellence in health care.

Our first volunteers were stay-at-home women who saw the need for a hospital in White Rock, as the closest one was Royal Columbian in New Westminster. They started the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary in 1948.

Our present volunteers are people of all ages, with varied skills and backgrounds.

The latest statistics from Volunteer Canada says 13.3 million Canadians over the age of 15 volunteered in 2010, contributing 2.1 billion volunteer hours. Young Canadians  – aged 15-24 – volunteer more hours than any other age group, with a rate of 58 per cent.

Last year, nearly 100 high school students contributed more than 3,500 hours of time to residential-care units at Peace Arch. These students participated in recreation therapy, at the information desk and in the cardiac-rehab department.

Two students annually are the recipients of $2,000 bursaries for health-care education, donated by Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary Society.

People give their time and talents for many reasons, and volunteering is a great way to learn a new skill, or a great way to teach a skill.

Many who volunteer are looking to do something completely different from their daily jobs. It can also be a great way to meet others who have common interests and are working together for a common cause.

Many find that volunteering gives back to an organization that has helped family members.

Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary offers many opportunities to volunteer.

Everyone is welcome. We have people that help in our retail stores – gift shop, comfort cart and our Superfluity shop. There are those who help out at the information desk and who help with flower arranging and many other activities.

If you would like to know more, call volunteer-services director Marie Rougeau at 604-535-4500 local 75704.

Felicity Matthews writes monthly on behalf of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary.

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