Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year when you spend it with family and friends. For the 140 members of the Mission Health Care Auxiliary (MHCA) it is, because they know that when they are working for the auxiliary during the festive season they are also helping others.
Christmas starts early at the Cottage, the thrift shop run by the MHCA (33228 First Ave.) where many items suitable for Christmas gifts and decorations are available for sale. The shop window is decorated and the ladies wear festive aprons instead of their usual purple uniforms.
During the Candlelight Parade last Friday, $300 was raised that will later turn into equipment, bus trips or comforts at the hospital or at a facility.
At the hospital, members of MHCA decorated the two foyers, conference room, reception desk and gift shop. The gift shop brings in many specialty items for the season and business has been brisk. We supply a favour for each food tray with the Christmas meal to try and give it a cheery look for those who are unable to go home for Christmas.
The candy stripers helped decorate the Emergency Care Unit, and were excellent with unraveling strings of lights.
On Dec. 22, half the residents will enjoy a Christmas dinner with their families. The turkey dinner is served by the kitchen staff but auxiliary members are on hand to help as needed and hand out the Christmas cake and festive cookies.
MHCA has always given a few small gifts to each resident — one year in the bag there was a pair of hand-knit socks, another year there was a pair of sock slippers. There is always hand lotion and a Mandarin orange. The executive of MHCA wrap these gifts at their monthly meeting.
Like any organization we have members who are not working at present due to ill-health and those who worked for years and are now associate members who do not work the expected 50 hours a year. A few of us visit them with a poinsettia and a smile and stay for a short while for a chat.
All members will try and get together twice this Christmas for lunch. Like all organizations we do not have a large number turn out for the monthly meetings, so it is good to have a get together like this so that members get to meet each other.