Healthy Women, Healthy World

May 11 2017 3:25pm
Shoppers Drug Mart’s Tree of Life donation to BC Women’s Hospital was a natural fit for a company that has made supporting women’s health a top priority.

If women are healthy, their families are healthy. It’s a compelling thought. In fact, it’s this belief that inspired Shoppers Drug Mart, one of Canada’s leading health and wellness retailers, to sharply focus its community investments on initiatives that support women’s health. This is why 11 local Shoppers Drug Mart Associate owners chose to give the proceeds of their 2012 Tree of Life fundraising campaign to BC Women’s Hospital – a gift of $31,897.

Focus on women

Shoppers Drug Mart’s corporate decision to invest in initiatives that support women’s health in mind, body and spirit is a natural fit for a company whose stores serve communities, and whose products and services are rooted in health promotion.

“Women play a leading role in maintaining the health of their families and communities,” observes Lisa Gibbs, manager, Community Investments. “Given that our core customers are women and that we’re in the health industry, it made sense for us to focus on women.”

Zahir Jiwa (pictured), a Vancouver-based Associate owner who has been with Shoppers Drug Mart for 35 years, agrees with the company’s new mandate: “Approximately 60 per cent of my customers are women.”

Tree of Life

One of Shoppers Drug Mart’s leading fundraisers is the Tree of Life campaign. While national in scope, the program empowers individual stores to direct the funds they raise to a local women’s health initiative of their choice.

When Jiwa, together with 10 other local Shoppers Drug Mart Associate owners, decided to pool the proceeds from their respective efforts, they were unanimous in their decision as to where the money would go: “We wanted to do what’s good for local women and their health, so we all agreed the money should go to BC Women’s Hospital.”

During last fall’s Tree of Life campaign, customers were invited to purchase a leaf, butterfly, acorn or cardinal decal, which were then displayed on each store’s Tree of Life. Some stores, like Jiwa’s, even held fundraising events.

“The response from our customers and staff was phenomenal,” beams Jiwa, who is already planning this year’s Tree of Life campaign.

Jiwa adds that it was especially gratifying for the Associate owners to be invited to BC Women’s for their cheque presentation: “We had such a wonderful tour of the Newborn ICU.

“When you see the dedication of the staff and the work they do, it really touches you and inspires you to do more.”


Originally published in the Spring 2013 issue of Women's Magazine.  Free subscription here.

Written by Ann Collette - Photography by Vincent L. Chan