The South Cariboo Health Foundation’s annual Starry Nights fundraiser runs until Sunday, Jan. 31. Participants are welcome to drive-by and see the lights at 100 Mile District General Hospital or make a donation towards two new “deluxe” palliative care rooms in the hospital’s acute care ward. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press)

Community digs deep

The annual Starry Nights campaign wrapped up this week with a record-setting $80,000 in donations.

Residents of the South Cariboo have once again outdone themselves.

The annual Starry Nights campaign wrapped up this week with a record-setting $80,000 in donations. The total itself is spectacular. The fact it was reached during a year when people have lost their jobs or are facing other hardships makes it even more astounding.

It just goes to show – as 100 Mile House District Mayor Mitch Campsall likes to say – just how resilient this community is in times of turbulence or upheaval. When the chips are down – whether it’s wildfires or COVID-19 or mill closures – people in the South Cariboo have each other’s backs. It’s another example of how a community is strengthened by the ability to care for its own.

Organizers of the campaign suggest the record donations are likely partly attributable to the end result: two palliative care spaces in the 100 Mile District General Hospital’s acute care ward. The money raised will help outfit the spaces with furniture and equipment to make the rooms comfortable for people with high-medical needs – something that is truly needed for people in this town.

It’s a worthy charity, especially given that here in the South Cariboo we have the second-highest number of seniors – just behind Qualicum Beach – in the province.

As one of the Starry Nights campaign donors so aptly put it ‘you may not need the hospital foundation or their services now, but one day you will.”

Indeed. It’s easy to donate to something where you can see tangible results, as well as something that may be of use to yourself in the future. Not to mention that sometimes familiarity breeds compassion – when you have had your own struggles it’s sometimes easier to help others when they are in need.

Yet not only did South Cariboo residents generously donate to the Starry Nights campaign, but they also supported other initiatives, whether it was the 100 Mile House Wranglers, the 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society in its 50/50 draw or donating to single parents and seniors at Christmas time or contributing to the local food banks. They dug deep to show they cared.

When everybody gives a little bit, it all adds up. In the big city, hospital campaigns are measured by how many millions they can raise. Here in the South Cariboo, the donations are smaller but the hearts are just as big.

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