Whether you’re looking for the latest in beauty, stocking up on toiletries, or just looking to fill a prescription — the friendly staff at Shoppers Drug Mart have got you covered. Open since 2006, our local Hastings-Sunrise branch employs around fifty full-time and part-time staff, all under the helm of owner and Head Pharmacist Anoop Khurana, who has been with the company for nearly a decade. “I love the community feel, I can tell people in this area are really interested in giving back,” Anoop tells us. “With Shoppers, every store is individually owned, so we have a lot of say in what we choose to do for the community. I can see that this area is really appreciated. It’s also an older area too; it’s very diverse, it’s ethnically diverse too,” he continues. “There is also a lot of really cool places opening up. There is a really big community feel here, and I can’t say that about a lot of areas in Vancouver — and I have worked in quite a few other places in B.C., too.” When we ask Anoop what he loves about his work as a Pharmacist, he says it’s the simple thank-you’s that mean the most to him. “I love making a difference,” he says. “I know it is health oriented, but I really appreciate it when a client will call and say thank you for the help that really made a difference. I also love working with the doctors. But also with my specific role I love leading and coaching a team, and then just giving back to the community.” Giving back to the community is very important to Anoop and his staff at Shoppers, and long-running charity programs like Growing Women’s Health are near and dear to everyone who works at the store. The charity provides much needed funds for different women’s health charities around Vancouver. “Every store can choose a local charity, where 100% of the proceeds will go to,” Anoop explains. “It is a four week campaign, from Sept 12th to Oct 9th. This year as well as last, BC Women’s Hospital Health Centre will be the recipient of moneys raised. “BC Women’s Hospital aids in Vancouver, but it affects everyone in this area,” Anoop says. “Whether you know someone who has a child, your mom — many people go to that hospital.” Customers are welcomed to donate at whichever level they can afford, and are invited to write their name on a leaf, apple or butterfly cut-out which will be put it on display for the community to see. “This year our goal is $3000, and we’re already at the half-way mark,” Anoop says happily. “Next week we will also be holding a bake sale, where some of our staff will bring some baked goods which will go towards the fundraising. We also do other charity campaigns throughout the year but this is the biggest one.” Alicia has worked at Shoppers for a little over a year, and is responsible for collecting and managing donations as well as the leaf displays. As Shoppers’ Women’s Health Ambassador, Alicia has also put together a gift basket, where people can put their name in the draw if they have made a $5 dollar donation. Alicia is also organizing the bake sale which will be held on October 8th, with her co-worker Karen, helping with the baking. The value of the basket is $450, and includes fragrances, skin care products, and much more. The store also holds an annual Cosmetics Gala, with proceeds benefiting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. “They use the donations to buy MammoVans, a mobile Mammography screening system to help those in rural areas. Shoppers has supplied the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation with three of these vans to date, which cost around almost a million dollars each. These MammoVans go to small towns in BC. Shoppers Drug Mart also organizes an annual Ride Don’t Hide event, a bike race for women’s mental health, as well as a charity softball tournament to raise money, where the winning team will choose a charity of their choice to receive the donation. Visit Shoppers Drug Mart’s website to learn more about the company. Stay social on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the latest.