The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary is earning recognition for the contributions it makes to health care on Vancouver Island and beyond.
The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary (CHCA) has been named as a finalist for the Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award as part of the 2014 Vancouver Island National Philanthropy Day Event. Three finalist have been named for each of the six award categories, and winners will be announced at the National Philanthropy Day Celebration taking place Tuesday, Nov. 18 in Victoria.
“It’s a real honour,” said Mimi Zuyderduyn, the auxiliary’s recording secretary. “We’re just so happy to do this. When you come to the Thrift Shop, the people there are so happy. Everyone has connections with someone who has needed the services of BC Children’s Hospital. To be recognized and make people aware of what people can do, even 50 cents, it all adds up.”
Zuyderduyn says the CHCA was nominated for its generous contributions to local health care, including supporting the Chemainus Health Care Centre and BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
By the end of 2014, the CHCA will have donated $275,000, and the auxiliary has pledged an additional $225,000 by the end of 2018 to bring its health care contributions through Thrift Shop sales to half a million dollars.
“The significant money the group raises supports a wide range of charities on Vancouver Island,” the Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Island website states in its list of award finalists. “While all of this makes the Auxiliary incredibly impressive, what really stands out is the way that they do their charitable work with an energy and enthusiasm that inspires and celebrates philanthropy.”
The auxiliary is able to donate so much money because of the success of its Thrift Shop. Through the Thrift Shop, the auxiliary raises funds for equipment to support patient care at Chemainus Health Care Centre, Cowichan District Hospital, Victoria Jubilee Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital, as well as other local organizations such as the Cowichan Hospice Society, Providence Farm, Tour de Rock and the Harvest House Food Bank, and the auxiliary provides bursaries to Chemainus Secondary School students.
In recent years, the CHCA has donated $275,000 to BC Children’s Hospital. Last year, the CHCA donated $75,000 to BC Children’s Hospital, and some auxiliary members had a chance to go to a campaign finale event in May and see the plan for the Teck Acute Care Centre.
“It was just remarkable,” said Zuyderduyn.
About 170 volunteers and one paid manager run the popular Thrift Shop at the corner of Maple and Oak streets.
“It’s very community- and people-minded,” Zuyderduyn says of the Thrift Shop. “There are a lot of members, and many of them are retired and have been doing it for 30 years. They’re very dedicated.”
Zuyderduyn believes part of what makes the Thrift Shop so popular is that you can find pretty much anything you need there.
“It’s like treasure hunting,” she said. “You just never know what a person’s going to find.”