The Needlers set up a craft display in conjunction with the Nov. 8 downtown sidewalk sale as an alternate revenue generating option for the Auxiliary. (Submitted)

The Needlers set up a craft display in conjunction with the Nov. 8 downtown sidewalk sale as an alternate revenue generating option for the Auxiliary. (Submitted)

Hospital Auxiliary assessing how to help after lean COVID period

HATS was the first operation to return

By Bruce Wilkinson

As you might have guessed, the Hospital Auxiliary has definitely been affected by COVID-19 issues.

Our hospital Gift Shop and our downtown thrift store (HATS) were both closed for an extended period of time. Our volunteer services in the hospital were curtailed, and our support activities at Cairnsmore Place still haven’t resumed. However, a significant number of our members are back on the job doing what we do best: providing support to our local health care system.

HATS was the first operation to return with reduced hours and very strenuous adherence to hygiene practices, but we’ve recently relaxed some, although mask and hand sanitizing remain requirements before shopping. It’s been amazing that many faithful customers have been willing to wait patiently outside for their turn to enter while we monitor numbers in the store for safe distancing. The weather so far has been a glorious help in making this bearable, but winter is on the horizon. Seasonal items are on display now.

Visitor restrictions in the hospital were relaxed a bit in August and the Gift Shop reopened with limited hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), adhering to safety protocols as set out by Island Health. However, hospital administration recently reinstituted visitor limitations, so customer traffic is again lessened. Hospital staff have been stalwart customers. We are anticipating more action as Christmas nears and our holiday stock attracts both faithful and new customers.

The Needlers have been taking advantage of the COVID quiet times by knitting up a storm, and have offered an array of crafted items for distribution at Cairnsmore Place even before they start setting aside the Christmas items that they are known for. Tuques for the Shaken Baby Syndrome project have also been supplied — something apparently not happening to the same extent elsewhere in the province. This project recognizes that baby crying is normal, and not a reason for aggressive parenting.

The Auxiliary is still packaging surgical sponges for pre-op patients, and has supplied toiletries for unplanned and unsupported patients. Magazine circulation service and tea and visiting operations await the time when things are “back to normal”, but we don’t expect that soon. The Auxiliary’s Facebook page (facebook.com/cowichandistricthospitalauxiliary), where we post notifications of bulky items that HATS can’t display, and also promote some very special items, has provided an alternate avenue for revenue.

Naturally, much of this has affected our ability to raise funds, but after three or so months with no revenues but continuing expenditures, public support has been gratifying. The latest wish list arrived in the mail a few days ago, so we will once again assess how we can best help out.

Bruce Wilkinson is the acting publicity director for the Auxiliary to Cowichan District Hospital.

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Most Read