Get to know: the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care

Annette Sweeney on behalf of the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care

Wednesday, January 2 2019

What does shopping at your favourite local boutique thrift store; kicking up your heels at a country dance; or enjoying a delicious ice cream cone on a summer afternoon all have in common? They all contribute to making Gabriola a better place to live and they are all fundraising efforts run by a dedicated group of volunteers for the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care.

Since its inception in 2012, the Auxiliary has donated over $130,000 to help improve the lives of Gabriolans of all ages and from all walks of life. This year alone, over $28,000 was donated to support programs that focus on health and patient care needs in our community. 

 All of the money raised comes from the Gabe Shop which operates year round; the Ice Cream Cart during the summer months; and other fundraising events throughout the year. Partnering with local non-profits, the money raised is then meted out to help run various health and wellness programs on Gabriola. 

Volunteer drivers pick up nutritious meals made in Nanaimo three days a week and deliver them to people who are unable to cook for themselves for a variety of reasons. Currently, there are about 12 people enrolled in the program but there may be many more who would benefit greatly from this service on a regular basis, or temporarily while they are recovering from surgery or for other reasons.

The Auxiliary also runs a Drivers to Doctors program using volunteers to transport patients who have no other way to get to and from their medical appointments. This service has recently been expanded on a trial basis to include rides to appointments in Nanaimo, but this much-needed and greatly appreciated addition to the program will only be able to continue if more volunteer drivers step up to meet the need. 

The Auxiliary is always looking for new volunteers. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and have fun while you contribute to one of the many worthy causes on Gabriola. Call (250) 325-4223 if you want to volunteer, or if you are interested in accessing any of our programs.