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Volunteer Appreciation Week - 2013 Healthy People, Healthy Communities
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Helping Hands, Caring Hearts, The Waterford Auxiliary

Submitted by volunteer Alice Clare Abbott
Approximately 37 years ago, a few of my friends were volunteering at the Waterford Hospital, when founding auxiliary president Betty Dunphy asked me if I would like to join.  I was still working, but she said that maybe I could come to the dances and help with bake sales, which I did for a few months. 

When I retired I felt that I could give something back and I started volunteering for the Auxiliary again.  I have been back for 27 years and have been president for the last 14 years.
Enriching Lives

In conjunction with Therapeutic Recreation, our Auxiliary helps and interacts with the clients of the hospital through a number of services and activities such as:
  • Monthly Bingo at the Meeting Place
  • Weekly afternoon tea and entertainment  
  • A clothing store which operates four mornings that provides good, used clothing to clients at a nominal price 

All funds accumulated are channeled back to the clients, both inpatient and outpatient, which allows us to fund outings. Senior clients have visited the mines at Bell Island and enjoyed a lunch of ‘fish and chips.’ Clients of the Meeting Place have been treated to boat excursions to the Bird Sanctuary in Bay Bulls, which they all enjoy.

It is amazing sometimes when you speak with the clients, how they open up and discuss their lives. Sometimes you feel you have made a contribution and sometimes you still see the misconceptions people have about mental illness. 

One day a client came into the clothing store and after looking at my picture on the I.D. tag, looked at me and said “Mrs. you have gotten some old since that was taken!!!”
Some stories are funny and some are heartbreaking; but what we do for our clients comes back to us tenfold.


Updated Apr 15, 2013