Langley Hospital Auxiliary Hosts 75th Anniversary Party – Langley Advance Times

Their blue blouses are their gift.

Audiences see people in blue lab coats sorting through donated items at the Penny Pincher Thrift Store, managing Langley Memorial Hospital’s gift shop, answering questions at the hospital’s front desk or handing out sneeze pads to patients who have suffered belly surgery.

Auxiliary members of Langley Memorial Hospital are a volunteer army of about 250 people, mostly women, who continue to put health care in place.

“In 2021, we did approximately 16,200 logged volunteer hours,” said Auxiliary President Barbara Stewart. “To date for 2022, we have done 15,000 hours.”

If a patient is hospitalized in an emergency, the auxiliary can provide a comfort kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, combs and shaving equipment). Pediatric patients receive themed pillowcases to make their hospital stay less scary. The Auxiliary will also provide clothing to patients as needed upon discharge from the ER.

The work of auxiliary knitters can be found in the gift shop – baby clothes, gift sets, even finger puppets.

Now is the time for the community to do something for the auxiliary – help mark a milestone. The public is invited to the 75th anniversary of the voluntary organization during a celebration at the thrift store on Saturday, July 9. There is a brief ceremony at 1 p.m. and the public is offered cake and refreshments.

On July 20, there is a birthday celebration at the hospital for staff and visitors, and the auxiliary will host a volunteer appreciation event in September.

There are older hospital aides in the province, but Langley has attracted dedicated members, none of whom are paid.

“Langley is probably in the middle of the pack, as they say, compared to the other auxiliaries in the province, age-wise,” she said.

Since 1994 alone, the local auxiliary has donated approximately $11 million to the hospital.

The Auxiliary has invested $1.5 million in the new Emergency Services campaign. The emergencies have been open for a little over a year and the auxiliary is not resting on its laurels.

“We did our June commitment meeting where we committed to purchasing $155,300 in new equipment for the hospital,” Stewart added.

The money, raised primarily through the thrift store, is just one of the group’s efforts to help the community. The society, which is a registered charity, also receives donations in memory of loved ones and bequests from estates.

But the group isn’t just focused on fundraising.

“We offer gifts at the residence in the SLD [long-term care] sites at the hospital every Christmas as well as gifts for hospital patients at Christmas,” she explained. “We distribute four scholarships each year.

There is the Volunteen Scholarship, another in memory of Marion Ward to provide nursing education upgrades. The Edith Rose Scholarship is for healthcare workers. A fourth scholarship of $1,000 is given to a Langley School District student who is entering the medical field.

As for the auxiliary, it will take a break to honor its long history in this milestone year while remaining focused on the future.

“We’re always looking for new volunteers,” Stewart said. “We recognize their years of service at our AGM. We are hosting a celebratory lunch in September for our members.

The group tries to publicize its work in various ways.

“We contact social media, the Langley Volunteer Bureau,” she explained.

For more information on the Auxiliary, go online to www.langleymemorialhospitalauxiliary.ca or email [email protected]

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• LEARN MORE: Discover the decades of history of the hospital assistant

• READ MORE: Langley Memorial Hospital pays pennies to inject $1.5 million into ER expansion

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Langley Memorial Hospital

The Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s gift shop opened on February 21, 1965. (Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Some of the members of the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary which turns 75 in 2022. (LMH Auxiliary/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Some of the members of the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary which turns 75 in 2022. (LMH Auxiliary/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Audrey Menhenick and Sue Chien are among the volunteers who helped the group meet its $1.5 million funding commitment for the new emergency, made in 2018. The family waiting room will be named after the auxiliary.  (Langley Advance files)

Audrey Menhenick and Sue Chien are among the volunteers who helped the group meet its $1.5 million funding commitment for the new emergency, made in 2018. The family waiting room will be named after the auxiliary. (Langley Advance files)

Joseph K. Bennett