Cobble Hill’s Jean Zucht, 74, is a quarter of the way through her 440-kilometre trek to raise more than $8,000 to assist Glenora Farm.
Zucht is undertaking this challenge in honour of her son, Chris, who has special needs and has lived on Glenora Farm, a Cowichan Valley charity providing residential care and day programming for adults with complex developmental disabilities, for the past 11 years and is now on the cusp of his 40th birthday.
Zucht was hoping to celebrate Chris’s milestone birthday with a party, but COVID-19 has disrupted the plan.
The pandemic has also created financial distress for Glenora Farm, a place near and dear to the hearts of both Zucht and Chris.
Zucht said she intends to use the fundraiser as an opportunity to give back to the charity in its time of need.
“Glenora Farm is perfect for Chris,” she said.
“He is surrounded by people who understand his needs and give him opportunities to contribute.”
Zucht said she also relies on Glenora Farm for her own well-being.
“I need to know that Chris will be cared for in the way that I would do it, and that he will go on to live a fulfilled life,” she said.
Zucht said she walks 11 kilometres around her community each day, come rain or shine, as part of the fundraiser and plans to complete the 440 kilometres on Aug. 23, her son’s 40th birthday.
“I’ve always liked to walk and my legs are still good, but we need more donations,” she said.
“My original goal was to raise $4,040, in honour of Chris’s 40th birthday, but we’re at about $5,000 now so my new goal is $8,040.”
Tara Batho, Glenora Farm’s business administrator, confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the facility that requires additional resources to address.
She said Glenora Farm is struggling to adapt its residential services and re-start its day programming with revenues that have been significantly reduced because of cancelled fundraising events and a drop in donations.
“Glenora Farm has applied for relief grants from the government, via the Emergency Community Support Fund, but has so far been left behind,” Batho said.
“We keep our hopes up, but without an influx of additional funding, we are struggling to meet the challenges of the pandemic.”
Those looking to support Zucht and Glenora Farm can donate on her GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/farmhouse-build-for-special-need-adults.