10 charities in BC doing meaningful work right now

Feb 5 2021, 8:19 pm

Since last March, almost every local business and charitable organization that calls our province home has faced an uphill struggle.

While the situation looks a little different for everyone, one thing they all need now more than ever is support. To help, BCLC is launching Spread the Local Love, an online fundraising campaign, running from February 1 to 15.

BCLC has sponsored a variety of products and gift cards from local businesses, including Native Shoes, Rocky Point Ice Cream, and Cartems Donuts and made them available on the Spread the Local Love campaign page. For the duration of the campaign, BC residents can double their impact by shopping locally.

When you purchase a gift card to a local business or successfully bid on a silent auction item as part of the campaign, 100% of your contribution goes directly to one of 10 participating non-profits. This means that both local businesses and charitable organizations receive valuable support during these challenging times.  

To raise awareness, we’re shining a light on the meaningful work being carried out by these BC-based charities.

Greater Vancouver Food Bank

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank assists over 8,000 individuals and families every month, 24% of whom are children and youth, 58% are adults, and 18% are seniors. “The top three items purchased by the Food Bank this past year were potatoes, milk, and apples,” said Cynthia Boulter, COO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. “This speaks to the high quality of food that clients receive weekly thanks to generous community groups.”

Burnaby Hospital Foundation

Burnaby Hospital provides medical care to more than 70,000 patients every year. Donations to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation (BHF) help fund approximately 50% of the cost of Burnaby Hospital’s new and upgraded medical equipment and technology. “The great success BHF achieves goes beyond the efforts of our dedicated staff — it extends to every resident of Burnaby,” says Kristy James, CEO, BHF.

SHARE Family and Community Services

Community-based organization, SHARE Family and Community Services, helps individuals and families in the Tri-Cities to meet basic needs, build supportive relationships, deal effectively with challenges, and develop their potential. “Funds raised through the Spread the Local Love campaign will go to support programs and services that assist vulnerable individuals, children, and families, helping to connect, engage, and strengthen our community,” says Claire MacLean, CEO of SHARE Family and Community Services.

Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

The Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation helps enable local health care improvements that support better health outcomes that benefit the community. Donations to LMHF help fund essential equipment and important programs at Langley Memorial Hospital including wheelchairs and walkers, ventilators, and portable ultrasound devices. “Support through fundraising campaigns such as Spread the Local Love, helps us ensure every patient, regardless of their medical emergency, is receiving the care they need and deserve despite challenges presented by the pandemic,” says Sheila Reimer, Advancement Officer at Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Victoria Hospitals Foundation

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation enables donations to every area of care at Royal Jubilee, Victoria General, and Gorge Road hospitals to help fund equipment, resources, and research that support patients from all across Vancouver Island. Funds raised through Spread the Local Love will help support the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and build Vancouver Island’s first permanent High Acuity Unit. “Our community of donors fund an amazing 40% of the equipment in the hospitals we support, so the community’s generosity makes a tremendous impact for our hospitals, caregivers, and patients,” says Avery Brohman, Executive Director at Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

Kamloops Food Bank

The Kamloops Food Bank’s mission is to relieve and prevent hunger in the community of Kamloops. The Kamloops Food Bank has remained open as an essential service with enhanced health and safety measures throughout the pandemic. Bernadette Siracky, Executive Director of Kamloops Food Bank, says “through sponsorships, events, and volunteer visits, BCLC has helped the organization feed 5,250 individuals, 47 community agencies, and nine associate member Food Banks.”

Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation

Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation collaborates with donors and healthcare partners to champion exceptional health outcomes. It focuses on the Northern Region as a whole and the area serviced by the University Hospital of Northern BC, as well as over 130 other facilities throughout the three service delivery areas of Northern Interior (Prince George), Northwest (Terrace), and the Northeast (Forst St. John), plus many destinations in between. Danielle Greenslade, Client Relations Assistant at Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, explains “Spread the Local Love would make a difference to healthcare in the north, funding equipment for patients throughout the region.”

Fort St. John Hospital Foundation

The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation is dedicated to working with the community to raise funds to enhance the level of care that patients receive at Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa Residential Care Facility. Being located in the northeast can pose many challenges related to geography and inclement weather, making it absolutely critical for Fort St. John Hospital to have high functioning and quality equipment so that patients and families don’t have to make additional trips out of the community. “As we begin 2021, our foundation has had to respond and adapt quickly to the challenges COVID-19 presents,” explains Niki Hedges, Executive Director at Fort St. John Hospital Foundation. “Receiving support from BCLC through initiatives like the Spread the Local Love campaign is invaluable to help support our important work,” she says.

Cariboo Memorial Hospital Foundation

The Cariboo Memorial Hospital provides medical care to the community of Williams Lake. The mission of Cariboo Memorial Hospital Foundation is to raise funds through events and donations to expand the services available at the hospital. Funds raised through BCLC’s campaign will be matched by the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD). The Cariboo Memorial Hospital Foundation is currently looking to fund portable baby monitors and ultrasound machines and additional delivery beds for the maternity ward.

Castlegar and District Community Services Society

Castlegar and District Community Services Society is committed to providing assistance, counselling, and support to improve the quality of people’s lives in the community of Castlegar and surrounding areas. “We are excited to participate in raising funds, which will be directed to our recently purchased location,” says Kristein Johnson, Executive Director of the Society. “This new location will provide affordable housing to people with barriers, winter shelter services, and overdose prevention and harm reduction programs.”

You can support the charities mentioned above this month through BCLC’s Spread the Local Love campaign. BCLC is committed to helping communities in BC grow and continues to do so virtually during the ongoing pandemic, following the success of its recent Giving with Givergy online campaign.

“We know that the pandemic has created a variety of challenging impacts in BC,” says Peter ter Weeme, BCLC’s Chief Social Purpose Officer and VP of Player Experience. “With the cancellation of many in-person events due to COVID-19, our team is consistently looking for new, creative ways to support communities. Our goal through the Spread the Local Love campaign is not only to raise funds that will help local charitable organizations continue to serve the communities where they operate, but also to showcase local businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.”

SHARE Family and Community Services volunteers/BCLC

Every lottery ticket purchased and play at a casino (when they can reopen) or play online at PlayNow.com generates gambling revenue that goes to the provincial government and back into our communities. For over 35 years, these funds have helped support healthcare, education, and community programs province-wide. In fiscal 2019/20 alone, BCLC generated $1.34 billion in net income for the Province of BC.

To give back to the local charities doing incredible work in BC while simultaneously supporting local businesses, visit the Spread the Local Love campaign site.

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