BVHS Auxiliary Efforts Raise $200K In 2022

The Blanchard Valley Health System Auxiliary recently presented a check totaling $200,000 to Myron Lewis, president and chief executive officer of Blanchard Valley Health System, and Karen George, chief development officer of the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation, who accepted it on behalf of their organizations.

The money comes from the 2022 proceeds of sales at three stores: the gift shops at Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital, and the Nearly New Shop, a second-hand goods store located at 306 Lima Avenue in Findlay. The funds will be used to support ambulatory care as part of the overall strategic plan of the health system.

The shops are staffed by volunteers of all ages. In 2022, the volunteers contributed a total of 12,722 volunteer hours.

They’re motivated by a desire to help, of course, but are finding it enriches their own lives, too.

For example, Kay Chester, vice president of the Auxiliary, has found that the other volunteers have become friends, and that sense of community furthers her desire to be involved. Jodi Karhoff, Auxiliary treasurer, finds that as a retiree, she still gets to use many of her career skills. And Cathy Lishawa, Auxiliary president, became motivated to give back after a family member received good care at BVHS.

“The Auxiliary is a pinnacle of BVHS,” said Lewis. “It makes a difference, not just to our patients, but to our associates as well, each and every day. We are honored and grateful to accept this donation.”

Karen George, chief development officer for the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation, also expressed “appreciation to Auxiliary members for their diligence, dedication and long-standing service which resulted in this wonderful contribution” on behalf of the foundation for the donation.

BVHS associates, as well as the general public, contributed to this effort. Associates visit both hospital gift shops regularly, and some community members also visit the shops. And the community donates goods like clothing, jewelry and household goods to Nearly New, which then sells them back to community members.

“It’s a full circle,” said Heather Schalk, volunteer services manager at BVHS. “Associates and community residents alike support Nearly New with their donations, then support it again by spending money there to buy affordable used goods that really are ‘nearly new.’ Meanwhile, the gift shops at both hospitals also offer a way to support the Auxiliary while at the same time finding appealing gift possibilities.”

The Auxiliary is always looking for new volunteers. To get involved, or for more information, click here.

(story and pic courtesy of BVHS)