On International Volunteer Day (Dec. 5), the RVH Auxiliary has made an incredible $1-million donation to improve patient care.
“We are incredibly proud to announce that we are able to make a $1-million donation to the RVH Foundation’s Keep Life Wild Campaign, which includes helping to fund the future and much-needed expansion of the health centre’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” said Lise McCourt, president, RVH Auxiliary. “These funds were raised through the loyal support and hard work of our volunteers, and all who participated in our fundraising activities, including our wildly successful Community 50/50 draws.”
International Volunteer Day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as a day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. The RVH Auxiliary began in 1897 when a group of volunteers saw the need to raise funds to support the purchase of bed linens and other supplies for patients at the hospital. To date, the RVH Auxiliary, known affectionally as the Blue Brigade because of their blue volunteer vests, has raised over $15 million for patient care and donated immeasurable gifts of time and kindness.
In addition to her role as an Auxiliary leader, McCourt is also a patient-facing volunteer. She wants the community to know about the important impact the members of the Blue Brigade have on the healing experience—for patients and families—in a personal way every day at the health centre.
“Patients rely on us for a helping hand, a reassuring smile when they are feeling scared or worried, and for our kind words during difficult times,” she explains. “I am so proud of the impact our volunteers have on the lives of so many.”
The work of the Auxiliary volunteers is vital to the patient experience at RVH.
“After a two-and-a-half-year COVID hiatus, our volunteers are once again lighting up the hallways of the health centre with their smiles and iconic blue vests,” says Gail Hunt, RVH president and CEO. “We have relied on their assistance for 125 years, and the pandemic has emphasized how invaluable our Blue Brigade is to RVH, especially to our patients. During the pandemic, our volunteers continued to cheer us on, including the RVH Auxiliary, who worked tirelessly to raise much-needed funds to support the health centre. These are incredibly dedicated and passionate people, and we thank them for always supporting RVH. History shows us the legendary RVH Auxiliary is often among the first out of the gate to support a need. This amazing announcement just gives us one million more reasons to thank our Auxiliary for all they do.”
The Auxiliary will play a crucial role as the health centre expands to meet the growing needs of the region, pledging $5 million to the campaign.
“Today is a day to recognize the power of volunteerism, and we can’t be more proud of the RVH Auxiliary for its ongoing dedication to the betterment of healthcare in our region,” said Pam Ross, CEO, RVH Foundation. “Our Keep Life Wild Campaign will raise $100 million to build a bigger health centre with more beds, reduced wait times and more specialized care close to home. It’s because of supporters like the RVH Auxiliary that we can ensure world-class care is available at RVH now and for generations of patients to come.”
Find out more about how RVH and its supporters, like the RVH Auxiliary, plan to keep life healthy and wild for Simcoe Muskoka at keeplifewild.ca
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