Auxiliary celebrates 35 years of holiday giving

News / General
By John Pereira

Volunteers to visit patients across KGH on Christmas Eve

It's a tradition here at Kingston General Hospital and the Auxiliary has no plans to give it up any time soon. For 35 years, it's members have been making the holidays a little brighter for patients staying in the hospital by handing out ornaments on Christmas Eve.

Members of the Auxiliary's Patient Comforts Committee will go from room to room again this year, on December 24, to visit with patients and hand out pewter ornaments. The committee's goal is to provide patients with little comforts to make their stay in hospital as pleasant as possible.

The tradition started out in 1978 and through the 1980's and most of the 90's the Auxiliary would consult nursing staff, select presents from the gift shop, wrap and deliver them to patients. In 1998, after index books, pens, and picture frames had all been gifted, the committee made the switch to pewter ornaments as the gift of choice. It has stuck with the popular items ever since.

"It's amazing, when you walk into the room the patient may be feeling a little down because they aren't home for the holiday. Then you give them a gift and their eyes light up and it really seems to brighten up their day," says Jenny Raymond, President of the KGH Auxiliary. "That is why we do this, we want to show the patients we care and they are not alone. That's why we volunteer."

Each year, the Auxiliary selects a new ornament to hand out. This year's will feature a Christmas scene of a small chapel surrounded by a wreath. If you are interested in learning more about the KGH Auxiliary, call ext. 2359, e-mail volunteer@kgh.kari.net or visit www.kgh.on.ca and look under the 'Work with Us' drop down menu.