Health Care Auxiliary logs 4000 volunteer hours in 2013
By Alison Squires with Miriam Gair
The Wadena Health Care Auxiliary is like many small-town organizations – light on volunteers, heavy on need, but mighty and determined all the same.
They are a small group of 18 dedicated women who pay attention to details that can make the difference between a stay and a more comfortable stay for those in the hospital or long-term care facilities. They contribute the kinds of thoughtful indulgences that help define what small-town living is all about.
Last year the group logged 4000 volunteer hours through a variety of activities, fundraising events and projects. These included catering to a bonspiel early in the new year, assisted by Maria Leach, Gloria Leach and Michelle Vandenbossche.
To brighten the winter, Hawaiian Days were held at Weneeda Park Lodge last February and the auxiliary dispensed a variety of fruit and breads for the lunch. In March, members assisted Pleasant View Care Home to make 195 pies for sale, an extremely popular fundraiser for the home.
The auxiliary hosted its perennial Florence Nightingale Tea in May and a Fall Bazaar in October. Locals can purchase homemade goods, take a break with a cup of tea and support a worthy cause. Toward the end of the year, the auxiliary worked the kitchen to prepare the lunch at the farmer’s market.
This determined bunch hosts birthday parties, bestows Christmas treats, distributes flowers for Mother’s and Father’s Days, lays a wreath during Remembrance Day ceremonies and stocks subscriptions to the StarPhoenix to be circulated around the hospital.
Members also provide support to the Health Action Committee and attend district meetings of healthcare auxiliaries. Last year the meeting was held in Canora and Wadena members took the opportunity to learn about other types of supportive activities and to exchange ideas with other auxiliaries.
One lucky student going into the healthcare field also receives a bursary every year from the auxiliary.
Based on feedback and requests, in 2013 the auxiliary donated $1000 toward the purchase of a patio set, and $2500 for a roll-on scale for Pleasant View Care Home.
According to the Volunteer Calculator at http://volunteercalculator.imaginecanada.ca/, for the social and community service category, an hour of volunteering in Saskatchewan is worth $16.31. At 4000 hours, the minimum value the Wadena Health Care Auxiliary donated in 2013 is equivalent to $65,240. Although each category on the calculator has different hourly rates depending on the type of tasks involved and the level of skill required, it is a reasonable indicator of what volunteerism is worth in today’s dollar.
As for the dedicated members of the Wadena Hospital Auxiliary, it is speculated that their group is similar to most groups in the Wadena readership area. Some may be larger and some may be smaller but all are equally dedicated to their causes.
“Fundraising activities are always augmented by the many donations and memorial funds received every year,” states Miriam Gair, the group’s secretary, in her year-end report.
“The Wadena Health Care Auxiliary welcomes guests and new members,” she adds.
There is always work to be done.