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Join long history of helpers with South Cowichan Auxiliary

The group is always looking for new volunteers.
From left: Carole Rothnie, president of the South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary, Dr. Valorie Masuda of CDH, Cecile Pelletier, vice-president of the South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary. The Auxiliary purchased a portable scanner for Home Community Palliative Care Team under Dr. Masuda, at a cost of $9,950. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Today’s South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary has a long history.

In 1972, the Lake-Bay-Hill Auxiliary to Cowichan District Hospital was founded as a part of the Duncan Auxiliary. In 2015 it morphed into South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary, associated with BCAHA (BC Association of Healthcare Auxiliary). The group created a logo, email address and Facebook page: South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary (like and please share).

There are 23 active members who volunteer in diverse areas of the community where needed such as at the Cowichan District Hospital Gift Shop, and at the Thrift Store (HATS) in Duncan. Auxiliary members also volunteer at Cairnsmore Place Extended care. Some members donate their services to blood donor clinics in the area.

In addition, the auxiliary raises funds for CDH Hospital Equipment, Cairnsmore Place necessities, and Hospice by hosting the Lemon and Lavender Vintage Tea in April and Strawberry Tea at the Community Flower Show at Cobble Hill Hall in May, and a garage sale in June, takes part in the Cobble Hill Fair in August, and hosts a Christmas Craft and Gift Fair in November.

The auxiliary sponsors a $750 bursary for a graduating Frances Kelsey High School student going in to the medical field. They donate coffee in CDH oncology. The auxiliary funds miscellaneous charities throughout the year as the need arises.

The group provides 3,000 to 4,000 volunteer hours each year and has donated over $100,000 towards equipment and furnishings for Cowichan District Hospital, Cairnsmore Place and the community since inception.

The group is always looking for new volunteers. The auxiliary meets the second Tuesday of each month except July and August at the Mill Bay League Community Hall (next to Kerry Park Arena) at 1 p.m. New members, new energy, new ideas, are all welcome.

Volunteering is not for everyone but everyone can still pitch in: help by collecting your Country Grocer (Cobble Hill) grocery receipts; Country Grocer gives one per cent of total receipts in County Grocer cash cards which the group uses to buy baking supplies yearly. Another way is to procure a Thrifty Foods Smile Card from the auxiliary. Thrifty Foods donates five per cent of purchases with said Smile Card each month. This year Thrifty Foods will contribute up to $2,500 to go towards the purchase of a hand held scanner for Hospice. The auxiliary particularly acknowledges the big contributions made by both Country Grocer and Thrifty Foods for the organization.

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