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Heritage Woods students produce baked good
Patients and visitors checking into Eagle Ridge Hospital are seeing some fresh faces — along with fresh baking — thanks to a unique partnership between the ERH Auxiliary and Heritage Woods secondary school.
Last year, 16 students from the Port Moody high school joined the auxiliary and are now providing coffee, tea, hot chocolate and baked goods every Saturday at the hospital to raise money for patient comforts. So far, students have raised nearly $5,000 for the auxiliary to help pay for a surgical lift, lounge furniture and piano keyboards.
“Why not? It’s a way of contributing to the community,” said Monika Ochocki, who with her twin sister Karolina has been a regular sight at the coffee table.
Nicole Porter and Lauren Baker also volunteer for the auxiliary and they say it’s a great feeling to help. They’ve already amassed many more volunteer hours than they need to graduate and are working at the hospital because it’s fun.
“You meet so many interesting people,” said Porter, describing calorie-counting doctors who stop to buy banana bread and patients who stock up on peanut butter cookies and muffins. Sometimes, people just hand over a donation without buying anything.
In addition to helping out at the coffee table, the girls also sometimes do the baking, roll pennies and occasionally work in the gift shop.
Cath Wood, who came up with the idea of asking students to help at an auxiliary tea last spring, said she has been impressed by the professionalism of the students and thinks the partnership has been a great idea.
“From what I hear, I think these girls are becoming an attraction,” Wood joked.
Her daughter-in-law, Dailene Wood, a home economics teacher at Heritage Woods, was instrumental in rounding up volunteers for the spring tea at her mother’s request. But she never expected the girls to be invited to join the auxiliary. “It’s just so inspiring and one of the reasons I enjoy being a teacher,” she said.