Making a difference this Christmas
Making a difference this Christmas
Posted on 12/16/2016
Making a difference this Christmas
by Betty Valentine

As we approach the Christmas season, it’s especially important toBetty Valentine take care of our own mental health. I like to spend time with family and friends, get outside for some fresh air and try to eat healthy. I also volunteer at my church and donate to my favourite charities. Waypoint is one of the charities where I do both. 

On November 29, Giving Tuesday, I had the honour of being a part of hosting Waypoint’s first annual Hope for Mental Health recognition event to celebrate the impact of the remarkable generosity of our supporters. 

Donors, event sponsors and partners, volunteers and employers who support our clients joined together at the hospital to share some refreshments and hear how their giving has made a difference. 

Last year, the hospital raised $176,000. With that money we have purchased a centrifuge for our lab, a patient lift for the senior’s program and a vital signs monitor for our electroconvulsive therapy suite, ensuring clients using this service now have the latest and up-to-date monitoring system. We also provided three at-capacity, 2-day Mental Health First Aid training sessions for our staff and the community. The comfort and safety of our patients was dramatically improved with much needed washroom renovations on some clinical units, and these funds are also helping to pay for the technology to support our new electronic health record.

It was a fantastic year in our efforts to fight stigma and discrimination with our third sold out fundraising dinner, a standing room only Annual General Meeting, more than 200 participants for the second annual Mental Health in Motion and 62 clients being placed in work experiences and jobs since April. 

Seeing your donations in action and the hope they inspire is truly humbling. If you supported Waypoint in any way this year, I’d like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, we couldn’t do everything that needs to be done without you.

This Christmas season, I encourage you to find the cause that speaks to you and support it, whether with your time or money, and know that you are making a difference. 

You might also want to mark your calendar for March 24, 2017 when Waypoint is hosting Séan McCann as the special guest at our fourth annual fundraising dinner. Séan is an addiction survivor and founding member of the east coast band Great Big Sea. He uses music as therapy and offers a great story of surviving abuse, becoming sober and leaving the band to make a difference in the world.