The South Cariboo Health foundation remains a constant in the community thanks, in large part, to the donations of area residents.
Isabelle Ohrling is one of those donors.
She and her husband began donating to the foundation after they lost their daughter to cancer over 20 years ago.
In the beginning, they donated a memorial bench with their daughter’s name on it. Since then, they contribute yearly to the Starry Nights program in her name.
“It’s such a delight to see all the hospital lit up the way it is in the Christmas season. A testimonial to the hard work the foundation does,” she said.
Anne Marie Brown said with her background in nursing she knew some of the equipment the hospital needed was not going to come from Interior Health.
To get those things doctors and nurses need, especially in the emergency department, external fundraising is needed, which is where the foundation comes in.
Both Ohrling and Brown said they do not designate where the funds should go.
“I know the foundation knows best where the need is and I trust them to use the funds where most needed,” said Ohrling.
Brown echoed this sentiment. She said the foundation typically fundraises for specific items so she donates towards that. She said she was pretty sure they get a list from the hospital and then choose something to raise the money for and she is happy to contribute in that way.
Joanne Montgomery, a donor for over 10 years, said she was pleased to see in the paper how many people contribute to the Starry Nights program.
“You hear about hospitals closing down as there isn’t enough staff, so to encourage the staff, we need to do something to support them,” said Montgomery.
If the hospital is well equipped and up to date to deal with emergency and non-emergency needs, it encourages new doctors and nurses to come to the area, she said.
Plus, if the equipment is here, people do not have to travel to Williams Lake and Kamloops, especially in the winter.
Pat Scorse and her husband have been making a “small supportive donation” since around the second year of the foundation’s existence.
They also play cards with a group of friends and on a Sunday afternoon in winter hold a game for the hospital with all the proceeds (minus prizes) going to the foundation. Just a game between friends with the donation being made in the name of someone who is no longer with them.
She also acknowledged the work of Brenda Devine and her team and said “It is amazing.”
Donna Barnett, South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce president is also on the board of directors of the health foundation. A supporter of the foundation for almost 20 years, Barnett said donating to the health foundation helps give capital funds for much-needed equipment at the hospital that helps save lives while making it much easier for healthcare workers and nurses to do their jobs.
“For me, it’s all about saving lives and making a better quality of life for everyone, including our nurses.”
It is amazing the amount of equipment purchased over the years due to the wonderful donations of our community, she said.
It is not the size of the donation that counts, said Ohrling, a sentiment the others agreed with.
“Every penny counts no matter how little or how much, every bit is appreciated and adds to the total,” she said.
Anybody wishing to see the donations from over the last 20 years are welcome to get in touch with the health foundation and the information will be provided, said Barnett.
She went on to say that all the different people who have been on the board of the foundation over the years are to be congratulated and commended for their service.
“An amazing bunch of people who have given their heart and soul,” she said.
Scorse agreed. “We would not have had it if not for the people on the board doing all the work and taking on the responsibility,” she said.