Still, the current auxiliary president can’t help but wonder what might be possible with a little more help.
“It’s a great group — we just need more,” Rousseau said Monday. “We could easily do with another 20 or 30 volunteers.”
She was on hand Monday to present a $26,000 cheque to the Western Memorial Hospital Foundation. Since it’s permanent inception in 1964, the auxillary has raised over $740,000 for medical equipment and services.
This year, the money will be used towards such things as maternal newborn equipment, renal dialysis and medical imaging equipment.
Rousseau has been a member since her retirement in 2006. A former staff member in the hospital’s administration and emergency departments, she said the new equipment will help the facility attract and maintain skilled medical staff.
Having the chance to help with that, as well as the needs of patients and their families, is a rewarding experience.
“This is very near to my heart ... we know exactly where that money goes,” she said. “There are patients who don’t have to go to St. John’s or the mainland because of money raised for new equipment.
“I’m not a big-ticket seller or anything like that, but you don’t feel bad doing it knowing it’s for things we need.”
In addition to medical equipment, the auxillary also contributes in ways which go beyond simple dollars and cents, said Beverly Tetford, regional manager of volunteer resources with the hospital.
The group contributes in areas where they see need, such as donating memory blankets that are given to families who’ve had a child stillborn, or in helping to set up a fully-furnished crisis room near the hospital’s emergency department.
“They are definitely invaluable,” Tetford said. “The numerous hours that they give getting ready is just unbelieveable.”
Tetford said the auxillary aren’t alone in needing more volunteers, noting the hospital’s gift shop is always looking for extra people to join the 25-30 or so volunteers currently there.
Those wishing to help don’t need to attend every meeting, she said, but can instead devote any time they can spare in the gift shop or through the auxillary.
To her, more hands are the best way to ensure the continued work of the auxillary, which is often done with little publicity.
“Every person that works in the gift shop is a volunteer so every bit of money that’s made comes back to this facility,” she said. “The public should know that without the tireless work of these people, we couldn’t keep going.”
For more information or to volunteer, contact Tetford at 637-5369.