For more than half a century the Osoyoos Dorcas ladies have had a history of giving.
Now, the Dorcas Unit of the Osoyoos United Church has increased its support to $30,000 for the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s campaign to supply the medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion.
The gift has enabled the organization to gain provincial approval to have their name associated with a patient room in the new PRH patient care tower now under construction.
Marie Therrien, president of the Dorcas Unit, says the organization has been operating a thrift shop for more than 50 years.
“It all started with a group of ladies doing garage sales and having little sales in the parking lot to support the church,” she said. “Then it developed into a weekly thrift shop – and now we’re open four days a week.”
The Thrift Shop, located in the church basement, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It generates almost $50,000 a year in proceeds which the Dorcas donate to charity.
“It still surprises me how well we do with the Thrift Store because Osoyoos is not a large community,” Therrien said. “We have very limited space but we do very well with what we have.”
People from throughout the community volunteer with the Dorcas. The organization is also open to non-church members, with more than 30 volunteers involved in their Thrift Shop.
Therrien said their membership didn’t hesitate to up their support for PRH. The Dorcas have donated $30,000 over the past two years to the SOS Medical Foundation’s campaign.
“So many Osoyoos residents end up as patients in Penticton that we decided it would be very worthwhile for our own community to support it,” she said.
Therrien emphasized that the Dorcas have not overlooked other Osoyoos area charities, while supporting Penticton Regional Hospital.
“Absolutely not. We have been able to do many things locally here in Osoyoos plus contributing to some individuals’ needs as well.”
The Dorcas Ladies will also continue to donate to such causes as the local food bank, an Osoyoos Secondary School scholarship, fire relief efforts, a foster child in Africa, as well as the church itself.
The organization is named after the Biblical woman Dorcas (her Jewish name was Tabitha) in the Judaean city of Joppa, who made coats and other items for needy people in the years following the death of Jesus Christ.
The PRH patient care tower will include 84 single-patient rooms, new surgical rooms, ambulatory care clinics and other facilities. Phase 2, starting in 2019, will feature a major upgrade to the hospital’s Emergency Department.