Written by Julia Kaisla, Executive Director, CMHA NWV
Today is #GivingTuesday. It is an international day of charitable giving to non-profit organisations that are addressing local and global challenges. It’s a perfect opportunity for charities to harness these benevolent intentions and raise much-needed funds to help them further their cause.
Like charities across the nation, CMHA NWV faces moments of uncertainty and often struggles to sustain programming, contracts, funding, momentum and good will to move us forward in our quest to create mentally healthy people in a healthy community.
This year, rather than ask for your help, we’d like to give YOU thanks. This past year, we have been the recipients of so much generosity that it feels unethical to ask for more.
As Executive Director, I know what busy looks like. This is why I have to start by thanking our board. Despite having bustling lives and careers, they have generously volunteered their time and contributed their expertise.
Similarly, our volunteers at the Kelty Centre and at the CMHA office have helped us grow our services and build community. At the Kelty Centre, they have helped organize the space, walk Samba – the resident PADS dog, and share their art, music or facilitation skills. Meanwhile, at the office, our counselling interns have helped us address the unmet mental health needs of our community by providing accessible counselling under the supervision of Maria Watson (our registered clinical counsellor).
At the Blenz cafe, our many customers have have given us their coffee business. This has enabled us to employ over 10 baristas who are different stages of their recovery from serious mental illness.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank the many donors and funders who have kept us moving in the right direction. Thank you to our municipal partners (@CityofNorthVan, @NVanDistrict, @WestVanDistrict) our health authority partners (@Foundry_NShore), BC Housing, @YWCAVAN, our corporate donors like Vancity @paccbluecross @Coast_Capital @nicolawealth, @HSBC_CA, @RoperGreyell, @LawsonLundell, the families in our community that show up for us in so many ways (thank you Daoust Family Golf Tournament), and the groups who decide to make mental health their focus (thank you Seymour Women’s Charity Golf Tournament and @runlikeagirl_ca).
It’s been a great year. I have no doubt we will be giving thanks again next year.