The Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary has a long history of volunteering in Kimberley, with some volunteers having been giving of their time for 50 years.
The Auxiliary supports the East Kootenay Regional Hospital through donations of cash for equipment. And all that cash comes from the operation of the two Thrift Stores — one in Kimberley and one in Marysville.
The stores are staffed entirely by volunteers. It’s a formula that has worked for years, but now the Auxiliary is warning that volunteer numbers are dropping and the Marysville store is in real danger of closing if more volunteers aren’t found.
The problem, says Jean Minifie of the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary, is a bit of a generational one. As her generation ages and has to give up volunteering, the next generation is not as available.
“Volunteering is dying with all the younger people,” Minifie said. “They are more interested in making ends meet and there aren’t many of us “older ones” that blame them.”
However, moving from a generation that has offered up to 50 years of service to a younger group that simply doesn’t have the time, or perhaps inclination, to volunteer, has created a problem.
Minifie says that the Marysville store needs more volunteers.
“We usually try to have two volunteers per shift so they can keep each other company when not busy. We have 10 shifts per week.
“We are short at least four people but in real bad need of more than that for spares — these are people we can count on to fill in when our regulars are away.”
Minifie says volunteering at the Thrift Shops is a rewarding experience.
“There are many benefits to volunteering but the biggest one is meeting people from all over Canada, especially the people to come to Kimberley for their vacations. “Friendships are built that last years and years, the companionship that develops is just like being part of one big family. Most of our volunteers are seniors and go through all the usual senior things — death, Alzheimer’s and having to place a loved one in a home — but with the “ family” from the Thrift Shop it makes these things a little easier to handle and you can always count on them for support!”
If you are able to give a few hours a week to the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary, please give Jean a call at 250-427-7072 or Marlyn at 250-427-4153. The Auxiliary can be very flexible in terms of hours you can give.