Youth program needs your help to continue
Many hospital patients of the past will fondly remember the assistance provided by a candy striper, traditionally a young, female hospital volunteer. Many recognize the term “Candy Striper” which creates a vision of a teenage girl in a red and white striped pinafore helping out at a hospital or healthcare facility.
During the 1950s and 60s, the popularity of volunteers was widespread. In general, the goal of a volunteer was to make a patient’s stay in the hospital more pleasant.
The reasons for becoming a youth volunteer are varied, but usually include; scholarship and bursary opportunities, development of self confidence, exploration of possible careers in healthcare, experience and letters of reference for future employment, community hours for graduation, and above all the chance to help others.
Volunteer activities are dependent on the requirements of the facilities. At the East Kootenay Regional Hospital and in Joseph Creek duties may include; organization of the waiting rooms, ensuring a supply of clean gowns, making beds, folding laundry, delivery of flowers and patient comforts and visiting with the patients.
In Cranbrook, youth have been under the sponsorship and coordination of the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary (CHCA) since the late 60’s. In 1997 Helen Luke became the coordinator of the Youth Program. After 15 years she has decided to retire from her voluntary involvement in the program. The CHCA thanks Helen for her years of dedication in this program.
Due to the increased complexity and time requirements of this important program the CHCA has been decided to increase the number of coordinators to three. Many youth in this community, along with patients and staff at our Health Care facilities have benefited from this program. Without the communities support this valuable program may not be able to continue. The CHCA is actively looking for persons interested in working with youth by becoming the coordinators or supervisors of this program. Contact Sandy Zeznik, CHCA President at 250-426-2660.