The Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary has, in its more than a century of operation, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support health care in the region; but thefts from the donation shed outside the auxiliary’s thrift shop are very distressing to the dedicated volunteers who run the shop.
The shed is left unlocked, and is intended for people to drop off items when the shop is not open, says Nancy White, who is in charge of public relations for the auxiliary. “We find holes in the bags people have left, and things scattered about, so we can tell when people are pilfering.”
Recently one of the volunteers went to check the shed after hours and saw that someone had dropped off a bar fridge. As volunteers do not go in the shop unless someone else is with them, the fridge was left in the shed. When volunteers arrived the next day it was gone.
White points out that all proceeds from sales at the shop go to purchase medical equipment and fund medical facilities used by residents of the area. They recently purchased a special oscillating mattress needed by a resident in extended care, as well as a new blood pressure machine for the emergency ward.
Earlier this year the auxiliary donated $20,000 to the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, and they have also donated money to the cancer clinic in Kelowna, as well as to Thompson View Lodge, Better At Home, Ponderosa Lodge, and the B.C. Children’s Hospital.
“People sometimes ask where all the money goes, and a few people don’t like that some of the funds raised go out of town, but Kamloops and Kelowna are our hospitals as well. And everything we fund has to be medically-related,” White explains.
She has nothing but praise for the generosity of the people who support the thrift shop, either through donations or through purchases. “It’s unbelievable. We have tremendous sales, and so much support.”
The hospital auxiliary thrift shop, located underneath the village office on Bancroft Street, is now closed until Wednesday, September 7. Anyone who has donations they would like to drop off for the shop is asked to please keep them at home until that date if possible.
Regular hours are Wednesday and Friday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m.