A member of the Bulkley Valley District Hospital Auxiliary (BVDHA) has been recognized for her 50 years of service.
Charlotte Apperloo was awarded a lifetime membership pin at last month’s auxiliary meeting.
She joined the ladies’ auxiliary after spending a long time at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital when she was pregnant with her first baby.
“You didn’t have cell phones or anything then and you had to write to people so I’d run out of ink and I’d run out of paper,” she said. “I’d wait for the volunteers with the cart to come and they never came. So finally when someone did come, they told me they were short on volunteers.”
After she left the hospital, she started volunteering with the auxiliary.
This June, she was recognized for her 50 years of service with a lifetime pin and a gift from their umbrella organization, BC Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries. She is the first person with the BVDHA to be given this award.
Apperloo said she has been volunteering with the organization for so long because there is a need and she has a passion for healthcare.
“Healthcare is important. I spent enough time in the hospital with different things and going out of town for medical appointments is hard,” she added. “I just like the hospital, healthcare in the north is very important to me.”
She said the biggest change to the auxiliary since she started was the opening of their second-hand store, New to You. Previously they raised money by doing raffles and bake sales. Now the auxiliary has the store that has raised more than an estimated $2 million since opening 30 years ago. All the money raised goes to BVDH and the Bulkley Lodge.
The auxiliary also runs the gift shop in this hospital. Both stores are run by volunteers and Apperloo said all volunteers put in the time because it is for a good cause.
“We know we are making money for the hospital,” she said.
BVHDA President Winette McEwen said the timing was perfect to give her this award.
“This year was our 100 year anniversary and she has been a member for 50 years so half of the life of the auxiliary she has been a part of,” she said. “We just felt what a great time to show some appreciation to one of our volunteers who has put in that amount of hours into an organization.”
McEwen said Apperloo helps to keep the meetings organized by following Robert’s Rules of Order, but her biggest contribution is her willingness to volunteer within the organization.
“She’s held every executive position in the auxiliary and been on most of the committees. She has a hard time saying no. The last time we had a meeting, I needed a committee for this and she is very quick to put her hand up and say she’s willing to help. She said it’s important for people to volunteer instead of having to pull people in.”
Apperloo said she will keep volunteering for as long as she can.
“As long as I am physically able, I will be here,” she said.
She will once again be the Area Director for the auxiliary in Northern BC. She was on the board once before and is going back on this year.
New to You has since reopened after being closed for several weeks due to the pandemic. Apperloo said it has been extremely busy, but the ladies are happy to be back in the store.
“We have shorter hours because we have to do extra cleaning, but we are doing well,” she said.