Hospital auxiliary hosting Christmas pop-up shop

Community COVID-19 Featured

The Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary is thinking outside the box when it comes to fundraising.

Carolyn Langille, gift shop manager, says the auxiliary is getting ready to hold its annual Christmas fundraising sale, as usual. But there’s a twist this year: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is not able to be held in the lobby of the Aberdeen Hospital. The worldwide health pandemic had the gift shop volunteers thinking of an alternative location to hold the fundraiser.

It will be held Nov. 12-15 in the former UPS location, in the strip mall at the West Side Plaza in New Glasgow, next to Pet Valu. The sale will run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“It will be a Christmas Pop-Up Sale by the Aberdeen Hospital Gift Shop – Martha’s Place.”

Typically, the auxiliary hosts this annual Christmas sale in the lobby of the hospital, but the hospital is closed to the public during the pandemic. “We wanted to be Covid-innovative,” Langille says, “so we wanted to find an alternate location to have our Christmas sale.”

Coincidentally, this is the sale location where the auxiliary holds its annual Christmas wreath fundraiser, so it was a natural fit. This time the location will do double duty: from Nov. 12-15 it will be the site of a Christmas sale then later in November (Monday, Nov. 23) the auxiliary members will be back again making and selling Christmas wreaths.

In response to the pandemic, Martha’s Place Gift Shop closed in March until the end of July when the gift shop was opened Monday to Friday for a few hours each day for staff and patients who had existing appointments. The gift shop offers e-transfer and online sales since COVID-19 hit.

“I think we’re one of the only hospital gift shops in the province to still be open – that we’re aware of. We’re really fortunate.”

While shopping at Martha’s Place is not possible to the wider community now, during the health pandemic, the upcoming pop-up shop is an opportunity for everyone to shop and purchase the variety of quality of goods available at Martha’s Place and also to support the hospital auxiliary in its endeavours.

“This is our biggest sale of the year and typically people come from all over to support it,” Langille says.

Funds raised by the hospital auxiliary are used for purchases for the hospital. The most recent purchase by the auxiliary was two bladder scanners – one for the Emergency Department and one as a floater for the hospital. Currently, the auxiliary is working with the Maternity Ward – together with the Aberdeen Hospital Foundation – on the hospital’s birthing rooms.

“And we also partner to help fund the hospital’s music therapist and she’s being very well received – that’s a big one.”

Elaine MacDonald, Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary volunteer, is getting ready for the Christmas pop-up shop fundraiser taking place Nov. 12-15 at the former UPS store in the West Side Plaza. (Submitted photo)