At the 2015 AHPCA “Imagine: Connecting Hospice Palliative Care Communities” conference, participants learned about the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society‘s phenomenal fundraising success.
Here is the fourth and final article in which their Board chair, Linda McCreath, generously shares their journey and proven tips for fundraising in the non-profit sector, including hospice palliative care.
Thanks, Linda, and the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative Care Hospice Society for your dedication and support of end of life care in Stony Plain!
OTHER SERVICES & INITIATIVES
Caregiver Support Fund
In addition to all the special equipment that has been purchased over the past 24 years, the LUYL Society maintains a “Caregiver Account” which is topped up yearly to $3,000.00 to provide other services and support as required. Some of the special areas of support include:
Payment of delivery and pickup costs for special electric beds to palliative clients in their homes.
In 2001 we contracted with a local courier service to provide this service at a negotiated rate for the LUYL Society. To quote the wife of a palliative client whose wish was to die at home:
“His wish was to remain at home for end of life care and, because of all the services and equipment that you offer, we were able to fulfill his desire. We live on an acreage, and you delivered and set up a hospital bed which was put in our front room. We have windows all around, and he loved to watch the wildlife (deer, moose, rabbits, squirrels and coyotes, etc.), and he enjoyed seeing trees (spruce, pine, poplars and birch), watching the change of seasons, and the Saskatoon, pin cherry and rose bushes. He could see the high blue Alberta sky with fluffy white clouds and dark, stormy clouds also; the sunrises and sunsets, too; and the acres of manicured lawn which was his pride and joy. And he could even watch the traffic on the highway coming and going. He died content and happy at home with his family by his side.”
Direct payment of Respite Care, ADP Support Costs, Transportation Costs
These are all on a limited, assessed need basis – with a cap on the total amount of support in a given calendar year. These particular types of support must be applied for by a formal caregiver, or the Social Worker, and approval for support is based on Provincial Income Guidelines.
Hospice Art Cart
The LUYL Society initiated the creation of, and funding for the “Art Cart”. A special cart was purchased, and the art either purchased or donated for this purpose. Once a week a hospice volunteer visits, and spends time with the patients, offering them one or more pieces of art to hang on the wall of their room. It is our hope that these paintings will give comfort and sometimes trigger happy memories for the patient. The cart also offers books and music to the patient.
As part of a separate initiative, “The Holroyd Teddy Bear Program” which began many years ago through the WestView Health Centre Volunteer Services Coordinator’s office, and with donations from a local family, the Art Cart volunteer also gives each patient a stuffed teddy bear.
Hospice Gift of Care
The most recent initiative by the LUYL Society is the giving of a “Gift of Care” to each hospice patient. In partnership with two local pharmacies and a gift shop, a welcoming gift bag of personal products will be given to each person in the hospice. The gift bags will be part of all the gifts of comfort provided on the art cart.
Hospice Designated Donations
One hundred percent of donations which are designated specifically for WestView Health Centre Hospice are used in their entirety for that purpose. Any expenses throughout the year, and at the time of the annual campaign are taken from general donated funds only.
“Hands-On” – Working & Giving Our Time
The Directors and Members at Large of the LUYL Society are “hands-on”. We don’t just sit back a wait for the donations to roll in. We believe it is important to be seen by the general public as actively involved in our fundraising efforts. To that end the members of LUYL have worked casinos and bingos, made and sold calendars, Christmas decorations, bookmarks and wheat-filled heating bags.
Several of our LUYL Directors and members have been actively involved for many years as WestView Health Centre Volunteers … working directly in the hospice, continuing care, Stony Plain & District Health Centre Auxiliary, the volunteer office, or in other areas of WVHC.
Annual Silent Auction
During the time of the annual fundraising campaign our LUYL members work to prepare for the Light Up Your Life Silent Auction. Since our first auction in 1994 it has grown to include a diverse offering of well over 200 amazing items. Pre-auction displays are presented at Westview Health Centre three times per week leading up to the full day auction which is open to the public. Through our efforts in the past several years the auction has generated between $10,000 – $12,000 each year – money which is included in the annual fundraising campaign.
Each year from September – December the LUYL members prepare for and sell raffle tickets. Wonderful prizes are donated by long time sponsors of the raffle, and members volunteer to sell tickets each week at our local Stony Plain Farmers Market. The market table is given to us at no cost, and each year we raise just over $3,000.00 in the raffle. This money also is included in the annual fundraising campaign.
In closing, the members of the LUYL Society are people who believe in “giving back” and “paying it forward”. We have all at one time or another been the recipient of the kindness and generosity of others or support at a difficult time in our lives. And being aware of this we realize the importance of sharing our time, and doing what we can to help those in need in our communities.
The Directors and members of the LUYL Society have worked diligently, and with pride for 24 years, and we are grateful for the recognition we have received during that time. The awards and recognition are a testament to everything we are working to achieve, and we humbly accept them as incentive to continue doing what we can to provide enhanced support to all those who will benefit from our efforts.
Awards & Recognition for the LUYL Society
Recipient in 2015 of the Minister’s Seniors Award
Pillar of the Community 2014 & 2015 Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter
Recipient in 2011 of the Rotary Club of Stony Plain Integrity Award
Recipient in 2006 of Alberta Health Services R.E.A.C.H. Award
Partner in Health (Public) in May 2005, Alberta Association of Registered Nurses
Nominated in 2010 and 2011 for the National Philanthropy Award for Social Service
Nominated in 2010 for the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award
Nominated in 2009 for the Minister’s Seniors Service Award
Written by Linda McCreath, Chair, Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society www.lightupyourlifesociety.org