Ladysmith Healthcare Auxiliary- Photo courtesy of Bonnie Weisz
A total of $266,724.03 in donations was approved by members of the Ladysmith Healthcare Auxiliary (LHA) in 2017. Since its inception, almost a 100 years ago, the LHA has donated over $5 million towards health and wellness equipment, projects and services benefitting local residents.
Currently, the LHA has 216 members, including 138 volunteers who work in the Thrift Store on 1st Avenue. Other volunteers work in areas such as, but not limited, to Meals-on-Wheels, the gift shop located in the Ladysmith Community Health Centre, and maintenance of the Memorial Gardens located behind the health centre. Approximately 34,000 hours were worked by LHA volunteers in 2017.
Youth volunteers work at the Lodge on fourth Avenue, providing a variety of supportive roles for residents. Junior members, who volunteer in other areas of the auxiliary, are youth from 12 to 18 years. Youth volunteers and junior members are eligible for bursaries each year, totaling $16,000, to further their education in health related fields.
Contributions by LHA in 2017 included a $143,526 to the Ladysmith Community Health Centre, primarily for equipment, including a portable ultrasound, $28,000 to the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society, $10,000 to the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, $18,746 to the Victoria Hospital Foundation and $30,000 to the Ladysmith Resource Centre to support a variety of services and programs.
The LHA began in 1909 as a small group of women donating their services to at the Ladysmith Hospital. Today, funds donated by the auxiliary are raised through sales at the Thrift Shop and the Gift Shop. In 2017, sales from the Thrift Store alone contributed approximately $340,000 to LHA coffers. We could not do what we do without the support of the people of Ladysmith, both as donors and customers, and we thank them for their support.
The BC Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries was established in 1945 to promote education, leadership, effective communication, and high standards of performance as key factors in member auxiliaries’ success. According to the BCAHA, many auxiliaries are closing their doors because of the advanced age of many volunteers and increasingly fewer new members. While this has not yet affected the Ladysmith Auxiliary, with 29 new members in 2017, this is a concern for many charitable organizations dependent upon volunteers to stay in operation.
If you would like to learn more about LHA and its activities can go to http://www.ladysmithhealthcareaux.ca/ or the LHA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ladysmith-Healthcare-Auxiliary-399436413468975/.