Since March 2003, staff, visitors, and patients of South Muskoka Memorial Hospital have enjoyed the coffee and treats available at the café, aptly named Muskoka Mocha. And it’s all thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers.
The café is operated by the Auxiliary to South Muskoka Memorial Hospital, and has withstood a number of challenges throughout its 20 years in operation. In its first month of business, the kiosk closed for a short time due to the outbreak of SARS. Fast forward to 2020 and the café was again facing closure with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Muskoka Mocha team was thrilled to reopen for service in early April 2022.
From its inception in 2003 until 2019, thanks to the hard work of the volunteer team and the generous support of café patrons, Muskoka Mocha has grossed just over a million dollars in sales! Proceeds are used to support the Auxiliary’s mission to buy much-needed hospital equipment and technology for the South Muskoka site.
Since 2017, fundraising efforts have been augmented by also dedicating all gratuities to purchase smaller pieces of equipment needed throughout the hospital departments. Gratuities earned from 2017 to 2019 were used to purchase four pieces of smaller equipment including a Welch Allyn Vital Spot Monitor with stand, Sara Stedy sit-to-stand aid, and a digital baby scale. The Muskoka Mocha team plans to utilize gratuities collected since reopening to purchase equipment valued at just over $3,600.
Currently, the Muskoka Mocha team is comprised of 19 dedicated volunteers who work seven days a week to keep patrons caffeinated and their sweet tooth satisfied with freshly baked cookies.
National Volunteer Week (April 16-22) is a platform for us all to say thanks to the many volunteers who help make our hospitals stronger. It is a special time to let them know their efforts and commitment are appreciated, not only during volunteer week, but every day of the year. Volunteers are part of the fabric that makes Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare as vibrant as it is!
While the hospital’s volunteer base is strong, the Auxiliary is always looking for special people who are seeking a meaningful volunteer opportunity. If you or someone you know is interested, they can reach out to Karen Bellamy, Coordinator of Volunteers, at 705-645-4404 ext. 3338 or visit www.mahc.ca/smmhauxiliary to learn more about getting involved or to apply to become a volunteer.