Wishing every member of the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary a healthy and Happy New Year for 2021.

When the Public Health Orders came into effect in March, the Board was galvanized into action. Meetings were cancelled, the Thrift Store was closed as well as the Loan Cupboard and the Gift Shop. The Board carefully monitored the situation. Group events (including the Halfmoon Bay Branch Plant and Bake Sale) and meetings were cancelled. Services to both Long Term Care facilities were discontinued.

Although its regular services were not “business as usual”, the Auxiliary has not been idle. It has continued to seek ways to support its community during this health crisis. It has matched $100,000 in funds with the Sechelt Hospital Foundation for emergency equipment and supplies. Auxiliary members joined with the Sunshine Coast Quilters’ Guild to make scrub bags and scrub hats for the health care team members. Hundreds of fabric masks were distributed through our Respiratory Assessment Clinic, Public Health and Ambulatory Care Units for patients to wear in community.

Humans seem to be very adaptable. Some of the ways our wonderful members adapted were a special Mother’s Day Driveby Visit by the Chairs of the Gibsons Branch; Loan Cupboard was changed to appointment only with delivery outside the hospital; participation in a limited vehicle parade for Canada Day; Sechelt Branch did their annual Christmas Craft Sale on VarageSale coordinated by Rae Anderson.

The Thrift Store saw many changes. There were two sales in the parking lot (Babies and Kids, and Seasonal). Many members worked extremely hard to reorganize the store so social distancing could be accommodated when we did re-open July 14.There is hand sanitizer everywhere and masks are mandatory. There is no congregating for volunteers in the lunch room and no delicious goodies to share. Shopping times were varied and the number of customers was, and continues to be, severely restricted; half price and dollar events are being held more often to generate sales. Donations have had to often be restricted because everyone was doing a CoViD cleanout of their closets and cupboards.

Newsletters continued as usual to keep us connected and $55,000 in grant money was distributed on time. A defibrillator was donated and installed in the Thrift Store in October. New procedures were developed to celebrate birthdays at Totem and Shorncliffe – mylar balloons only and cupcakes instead of cake. The Auxiliary jointed once again with the Sunshine Coast Quilters’ Guild to provide a sewing machine and supplies to the sewers on the Second Floor of the hospital. A beautiful quilt wall hanging was also donated to spruce up the place.

We continue to do what we can during these strange times. Many volunteers at our programs have chosen not to continue with their previous jobs and that’s ok! We know you’re with us in spirit. Thank you to all who renewed their memberships on time. Thanks to all who have responded to on-line vote requests for motions and for the AGM. Thank you so much to all who continue to support the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary and keep the vibrancy going in our organization.

Till we can meet again! Bet you didn’t think you would miss meetings…

On Behalf of the Board
Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary

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