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Ashcroft Health Care Auxiliary very active in community

Auxiliary members raise money and donate locally, provincially, and to students
Members of the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary (HCA) and hospital staff gather to celebrate the latest donation to the hospital and Jackson House, made possible by the hard work of the HCA volunteers and the generosity of community members who support the HCA Thrift Store in Ashcroft. (back row from left) Louanne Prochnau, Barb Clark, Nick Lebedoff (HCA), Shirley Holowchuk (HCA), Donna Close, Marlene Grant, Kitty Murray (HCA), Debbie Thompson. (front row, from left) Jess Turnbull (HCA), Lanaray Porter, Amy Bordas, Hayley Stefanek. Photo: Barbara Roden.

by Ken Alexander

The hard-working volunteers of the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary make sure local and provincial health care facilities get a financial boost.

Every year, the Auxiliary asks the Ashcroft hospital for an equipment wish list, says Amy Bordas, Residential Care Co-ordinator at Jackson House. During their AGM in April, the Auxiliary decided to purchase the following equipment for the site, worth $6,362:

• Alligator forceps ($614), which are great for extracting foreign objects out of ears and noses;

• Tonometer ($4,908), which looks like a pen and measures the intraocular pressure in eyes;

• Three fall mats ($669), which are used beside beds to prevent injury to clients who try to get out of bed but are not strong enough to walk on their own;

• Seat riser ($119), which was installed in the communal dining area toilet room. It is necessary for elderly clients, because many don’t have the core and leg strength to get themselves up and off a toilet seat that is too low; and

• Two pairs of sheepskin heel protectors ($52) that can be worn in bed by clients who are showing signs of breakdown on their heels. These protectors reduce pressure on the heels caused by contact of the heel with the bed. Wool stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and absorbs 20 times more moisture than synthetic heel protectors while continuing to feel dry.

“We are incredibly grateful and lucky to have the Ashcroft Auxiliary supporting our site and the Ashcroft community,” says Bordas.

Auxiliary president Kitty Murray says they can make significant donations because they have a thrift store that does very well. Last year, the Auxiliary donated $39,500 to the local health site, assisted living, Royal Inland Hospital, Terry Fox Foundation, Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home, BC Children’s Hospital, Variety Children’s Charity, Alzheimer’s, Better at Home, Rotary House, Ponderosa Lodge, Hospice, Joe Anna House, and VIP.

The Auxiliary also offers bursaries for students in the local School District who are going into most health fields.

The thrift store, which is downstairs behind the Village Office at 601 Bancroft Street in Ashcroft, is open two days a week – Wednesdays and Fridays – from noon to 4 p.m.

Murray says the Auxiliary has a showcase in the hospital where they sell items and make some money. They host an annual Christmas Sale in mid-November, and they “do very well with that fundraiser.”

She says the Auxiliary has 34 active members. “We always need more of course. If people are interested, we can show them what we’re doing.

“We have an application form, and they have to get a criminal record check like everybody else does.”

Murray says people who are interested in joining the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary can call membership chair Shirley Holowchuk at (250) 453-2432.

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