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Random acts of kindness make good business sense at TLC Pharmasave

SHELBURNE -  Colleen MacInnis is in the business of caring for people, and she takes the name of her independently owned pharmacy, TLC Pharmasave, in Shelburne to heart.

Colleen MacInnis is the owner of TLC Pharmasave in Shelburne.

It embodies the importance of personalized care in a small community, and it’s the little things they do that make an extraordinary difference.

“There are no actual polies written for the things we all do at this store every day,” said MacInnis.  “The entire staff embodies what TLC means to this community…they live and breathe it and are all kind, compassionate and caring.”

Her day doesn’t end when the store closes each night.  Just last week she received a call from the husband of one of her clients who was unable to get his wife inside their home without the use of a transport chair.

MacInnis didn’t hesitate; she went to the pharmacy and then drove the chair to the client’s home.

She said she now keeps a stock of Pedialyte and Gravol at home for those middle of the night calls from worried parents, and she often delivers that small aid to reassure parents and give comfort to their children.

This past Christmas the staff was able to give some extra TLC to those who needed it most by forgoing a gift exchange, and instead adopting two families to donate a Christmas to, complete with toys, gifts and a Christmas dinner.

On Christmas day, staff used the TLC van to deliver dinners to those who would have none without that extra surge of kindness.

To raise the spirit of giving in the community MacInnis handed out Visa gift cards to each staff member and told them to spread the TLC in the community and to give out the cards as a random act of kindness.

“There were a lot of tears…I heard some amazing stories from our staff, from buying gas for a stranger to purchasing toys for kids…buying someone’s prescription medications and buying someone’s groceries at the checkout line…it warmed everyone’s hearts,” said MacInnis.  “It’s the people who work the front lines who need to get the thanks as much as the owners.”

On a daily basis, staff will volunteer to bring medication to out of town clients unable to pick up their prescriptions.

Staff can also be seen ‘curb-side’ counseling.

“Our pharmacists often run outside in bad weather or for those with limited mobility to make sure they understand how to use their medication properly,” she said.

Recently MacInnis fit an elderly lady with a broken collarbone for a sling by climbing into the backseat of her car with her so she wouldn’t have to get out.

When a disaster hits, the community has often leaned on TLC for help.

Fires and floods have lead to the loss of all personal possessions and while the pharmacy team is quickly replacing medication, complimentary bags with toothbrushes and simple everyday living items are filled for the victims.

“We are often called upon to help,” said MacInnis.  “Donations for fundraisers or just replacing items people need after a fire or flood are a part of our service.”

She said it helps to be an independent business.

“We get to make our own decisions and because of that are able to give the personalized service a small community needs,” said MacInnis.

She has just opened a second store in the Barrington area.

“We want to create the same spirit for our store there,” she said.  She found that the needs for that community were different than those in Shelburne and knew it would need its own model of care to fit with the community.

“We know our customers so well,” she said.  “If we were a big faceless company we wouldn’t even hear the stories.”

She said she wouldn’t even be in business if it weren’t for the support of the community.

“We want to give back,” she said.  "That is why we do it."

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