Mom Rachel and son Jack.

Focus on Island families this giving season

Donations, special events support the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island

No balloons celebrated Jack’s birth.

A photo shows mom Rachel seeing him for the first time in the delivery room, but she doesn’t remember the moment. She was in shock, fearful for her son who was born 2 ½ months early.

“The first week of Jack’s life, I didn’t want to leave him in the hospital,” Rachel recalls. “Every time I said goodbye, I wondered if it would be forever.”

Knowing you’re not alone

Bringing Jack home two months later, Rachel feared she and husband Lewis wouldn’t know how to help him thrive on their own? Thankfully, with the generosity of local donors, they never had to find out.

Donations to the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island ensured the family could access the Queen Alexandra Early Intervention Program, which helps families living in Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands develop skills to support their child’s development.

Help beyond the hospital

Babies like Jack need a lot of support even after leaving the hospital. And for families living outside urban centres, the Foundation funds programs and services enriching the lives of children in their own communities.

Gold River’s new Children’s Health Hub, for example, provides much-needed access to specialists, including occupational therapists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and audiologists.

Early Intervention consultant Jocelyn has worked with Jack throughout his development, providing his parents with the support and guidance they need to confidently help him reach his full potential.

Making giving easy and impactful

With the public’s continued generosity, even more can be done for Island families. Beyond a single donation, monthly giving is an easy way to provide ongoing support, and provides the Foundation with a steady source of revenue to keep programs going strong all year long.

“Our caring supporters are the reason the Foundation can offer vital programs like Early Intervention and provide families in rural and remote communities across Vancouver Island with access to child-focussed specialists,” says Veronica Carroll, Chief Executive Officer.

Better yet, if you donate by Dec. 31, your donation is eligible for a 2017 tax receipt.

Seasonal celebrations of Island kids

Celebrate the season at the Hotel Grand Pacific and help put a smile on the faces of Island families:

To Dec. 23 – Woodland Wonderland Photo Booth, in the hotel lobby. Snap a family photo in this cozy holiday scene and be sure to enter the colouring contest while you’re there. Share your photo on social media with #IslandKidsFirst, and $1 will be donated to the Children’s Health Foundation!

To Dec. 23 – Cocoa + Cookies, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Pacific Restaurant, plus carols on the weekends.

Dec. 10 – Pancakes in Pajamas with Santa, in the ballroom. Enjoy breakfast with Santa, decorate cookies, make holiday crafts and more.

Learn more about how you can help local families on Facebook or at childrenshealthvi.org

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Jack, shortly after his birth.

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