The Cooperative Health Centre Volunteers have been an important part of the Cooperative Health Centre for over 35 years. They have been involved in fundraising since the first day of the organization, receiving memorial donations and holding fundraising events throughout the year. They have raised over $800,000.00 to benefit the Centre.
In the spring of 1976, a newly retired Prince Albert resident, Mrs. Helen Wiebe came up with the idea of a volunteer group. She wanted to invite Co-op Health Centre clients, who were elderly, handicapped or shut-ins to visit her at her lakeside cabin for tea and a visit. From this worthwhile effort, a meeting was called to discuss a volunteer group. Forty-eight interested participants met at the home of Mrs. Millie Hjertaas and formed the Co-operative Health Services Volunteers. They defined their purpose ‘to facilitate programs to meet the needs of clients of the Prince Albert Cooperative Health Centre’. In 2010, the volunteers changed their name to Co-operative Health Centre Volunteers’ Foundation.
Although some of the original group has moved on, or passed away, many are still active with the Co-op Health Centre Volunteers today. Through the efforts of these volunteers, and the volunteers who have joined them in the past 35 years, the Cooperative Health Centre has received not only monetary benefits but also encouragement and moral support. They are a unique group of very dedicated people who strongly believe in the vision of the Cooperative Health Centre and what it has to offer the community.
The Volunteers assess the Centre’s services to find areas of need and provide funding to meet those needs. One of their first major purchases was a wheel chair equipped van, which transports clients to and from the Cooperative Health Centre/Community Clinic and to referrals, free of charge. This van is essential to many that have no other means of transportation to appointments. The van has been replaced seven times over the years – the latest replacement was in .
The Volunteers have donated much of the equipment in every area of the Cooperative Health Centre. In the past few years alone, they have donated new examination beds and cabinets for the physicians’ offices; six wheelchairs and a hematology analyzer and centrifuge for the lab.
In addition to fundraising, some of the volunteers provide friendly visiting services to clients in hospital and at home and do errands and shopping for those no longer able to do their own.
Through the years, the volunteers have given freely of their time, increasing the capacity of the Cooperative Health Centre to accomplish its goals. They have willingly lent a hand whenever needed, encouraging clients, physicians and staff to join them in fellowship and community building.