From its humble beginnings in 1963, the Parkwood Hospital Auxiliary has grown into a robust organization that has raised nearly $1 million to benefit patients and residents at Parkwood Hospital. They were honoured for their service in January 2013.
"Fifty years of serving Parkwood patients and residents - wow is the only word I can think of to express the difference the auxiliary has made to the lives of the patients and residents at Parkwood Hospital," says Elaine Gibson, Vice President, Complex, Specialty Aging and Rehabilitation. "Your welcome smiles, friendly conversations and caring presence have also made a tremendous difference to staff members and visitors."
Today the auxiliary has 60 members from all walks of life and the tradition is continuing. "We are delighted that some of our auxiliary members are retired employees who have returned to volunteer," says auxiliary Vice President Chris Livingstone. "This is a most welcome and growing trend."
Auxiliary members raise funds by running two thriving gift shops and the lottery booth. In 1988, auxiliary profits started flowing through the St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation and since then $838,000 has been raised for various patient comfort, research, and program initiatives. Considering the auxiliary was in action for 25 years before that, nearly $1 million has been raised through their efforts. In addition the auxiliary has organized and hosted more than 500 birthday parties for residents since 1963 and their well-loved strawberry socials have, for 50 years, heralded the start of summer at Parkwood.
Expressing her thanks to St. Joseph’s for recognizing the auxiliary’s service, Chris said, “You have made us feel honored and validated for the work we’ve done – and we’ve only just begun.”
By The Numbers
In 2012 alone auxiliary members:
- volunteered more than 8,000 hours of service
- sold, among other things:
- 7,000 cups of coffee
- 18,000 cans of pop
- 3,000 newspapers