Auxiliary taking over Lifeline installation
The Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care Society held their inaugural meeting on July 4 at the Gabriola Garden Homes common area lounge, with a Board of Directors being named and given direction to ‘get on with it!’.
We’re pleased to announce our first initiative was to send some of our volunteers to be trained as installers of the equipment used by Nanaimo Lifeline Personal Response & Support Service. For many years, a retired couple on Gabriola provided this service and so when they decided to retire again, Joan Ryan, the executive director of Lifeline, approached us and suggested we’d be a perfect fit. Their equipment will be secure and readily attainable in space at the Community Health Centre, and our volunteers will be ready to respond by next week! If you or a family member need more information, please call Lifeline directly at 250-739-5770 or email email@example.com.
The auxiliary members are proud of all our fundraising and public awareness campaigns held while under the umbrella of the Gabriola Health Care Foundation, which raised over $165,000 toward the building fund for the recently opened Gabriola Community Health Centre; but, now that the doors are up and opened, our job really begins!
Being well aware our island has not had patient-comfort services, like Meals on Wheels, Drivers to Doctors or transportation for isolated seniors to shopping or social events, we collectively decided to take this on as our new job.
Due to lack of volunteers and government downsizing of funding for such programs, Gabriola has not had these services for the past seven years.
Now we realized we had more than enough volunteers, but how could we fund the programs without having to organize and orchestrate 20 or 30 events a year? Yes, we could apply for grants, and we have. Yes, we could look to partner with other non-profits who are also trying to find solutions to these problems, and, we have. Or, we could do what 79 of the 87 hospital and rural clinic auxiliaries registered to the BC Association of Health Care Auxiliaries do – open a thrift store. And yes – we have!
The GABE Shop (formerly the Roxy Theatre and beside Robert’s Place Restaurant) has become our thrift shop: drop off your donations of new or nearly new clothes, housewares, small furniture, jewelry, books and other collectables (open daily between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
Completely run by volunteers, we also have (in the back corner) an office where you can pick up a membership application or register for email updates about changes in the shop and future services the auxiliary will be supporting.
Well, you can bet we’re working on it!
Here’s a clue: we’re getting hungry just planning it!
Watch for it ‘rolling along a road near you late this fall.’ Thanks for your continuing support of all things auxiliary!