For more than 40 years, volunteers with the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary have worked hard to raise millions.
Since 1976, they have raised more than $2 million to support patient care at the hospital.
But when COVID-19 hit, all their fundraising efforts had to stop.
“Our [thrift] shop is shut, we planned a garage sale in the Spring, we planned a bazaar this fall, none of those things are happening,” said auxiliary president Jean Van Wyk.
But for one week, starting on Aug. 1, the auxiliary will open a pop-up thrift shop on Beacon Avenue in Sidney. Van Wyk said the pop-up shop wouldn’t even be possible without the work and help of the volunteers.
“They are fabulous,” says Van Wyk. “I’ve never met a better group of people, because they will do whatever needs doing. We have 104 volunteers, and they are so excited to be helping with this project.”
The auxiliary’s past-president, Donna Salter, agrees.
“We’re just overjoyed with something to do, a way that we can make our things happen, and empty our overflowing lockers,” Salter said.
Salter said the location of the pop-up was found through determination, perseverance, and community support.
“We decided that there must be a way and we kept looking and thinking,” said Salter.
They approached the Sidney business community, and began to work with the owner of Galleon Books, and with Firm Management.
One of the shops on Beacon Avenue was closing, and so, for one week, the auxiliary is moving into the space. Money raised from the pop-up shop will be going towards enhancing the care and comfort of patients
“The money that we raise is dedicated to enhance the care and comfort of our patients,” says Salter. “We’re not looking at the big-ticket items so much as the little things that mean a lot.”
Those “little things” include items such as new state-of-the-art beds, specialized emergency room and laboratory equipment, and bedside monitoring units for the new post-surgery recovery area. Contributions also help the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation with its efforts to improve hospital facilities.
Salter is grateful to those who have continued to support the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary, and hopes that those who can’t get to the pop-up gift shop will still consider contributing to the cause.
“We have a website that now we can accept donations,” says Salter. “People have even been donating stipend cheques, saying ‘you can use it much more than we can’ so we’ve been getting those $300 and $500 amounts donated to us.”
The pop-up shop is located at 2506 Beacon Ave. in Sidney and will open for one week starting Aug. 1
For more information, please visit www.sphaux.com/about.