Langley Memorial Hospital's gift shop has been given a much-needed face lift, and volunteers there hope it will bring in more money to help patients.
The Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has funded a renovation of the gift shop, which it has run for decades.
Joan Brown oversees the all-volunteer group that staffs the gift shop.
"I've been here 13 years," said Brown. In that time, the gift shop has been in pretty much the same state. Brown started thinking about whether it was time to do some painting and maybe do something about the floors.
That idea evolved into a plan to renovate the whole shop, increase its floor space, and bring in new types of merchandise.
"It's been 100 per cent funded by the auxiliary," Brown said the renovation.
The gift shop now extends out a little further into the hospital's atrium, and is about 35 per cent larger than the old space.
The volunteers, mostly retired seniors, won't have to push racks of clothing and magazines in and out every time they open and close up; the shop will now be completely enclosed.
Ingrid Finnigan, who manages volunteer resources for Langley Memorial, said one of the aims of the renovation is to sell new items and increase their appeal to the staff at the hospital. Clothing and other high-end items are to be added.
"The staff are our best customers," said Brown. While they'll still sell magazines, snacks, stuffed animals, and cards to those visiting patients, the nurses, doctors, and technicians of hospitals are always stopping off to pick up something, Finnigan said.
After working 12-hour shifts, many staff members are happy to be able to pick up something in the gift shop, rather than driving to a mall.
The shop was closed from June to the end of August for the renovations, but everything came in on schedule.
Brown and Finnigan also hope to double the number of volunteers they have working in the shop.
The auxiliary goes back to 1947, the year before the hospital would open its doors. It would begin by sewing sheets, pillow cases, and cloth diapers for the soon-toopen building.
The modern version does less sewing, but still contributes every year through raising money. Twice a year they supply items for patient care off a "wish list."
To sign up as an auxiliary volunteer, contact the group at 604-514-6161 or via email at email@example.com. The auxiliary also operates the Penny Pincher Thrift Store in Langley City.
@ Copyright 2013