“We don’t have experience in our families’ or in our circle of friends with serious mental health issues, but everybody knows somebody with mental health concerns, or the lack of a healthy mental state at times in their lives.”
It’s for those reasons, and many more, that a Kelowna family has made a generous donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna Togetherness Campaign, an end of year holiday fundraiser.
The family, who has asked to remain anonymous, has been raising money for CMHA Kelowna through small, private events within their friend-group for just under a decade. “And we felt like we could actually make an impact with small donations in the past.”
This year, their circumstances were a bit different. “We’re not rich people. But we are privileged and fortunate. We sold a rental property that we were fortunate to have. We knew we could sock that money away, or go on a massive trip, or get a new kitchen. But it didn’t feel right to be doing any of those things when there are people who don’t have the basics.”
So, the family decided to make donations that would have a positive impact on 4 pillar issues within the community. Mental health is one of those pillars so their plan was to donate $10,000 to CMHA Kelowna’s end of year holiday fundraising campaign to go towards programs and services that support people’s mental well-being.
Then they realized the organization also provides housing in the community, and they decided to double their donation. “We picked CMHA because we were having a hard time finding an organization that met the needs at the root level. We care about homelessness. We care about child poverty, the environment and we care about marginalized populations. It was a lot of those things. The root cause, or the spinoff, is poor mental health. It was also a local way to participate.”
CMHA Kelowna provides more than 250 units of housing and supports for individuals and families in the community who are at risk of homelessness. “Knowing the stress of so many families trying to find a place to live, when it’s a tough time to do that. Adequate housing is such a challenge in our community. It’s so unaffordable for people. This (donation of $20,000) felt meaningful, in particular because of the nature of where the money came from. It felt like it was right to re-invest it somehow and give back.”
The family says it’s about creating the type of future they want their kids to live in. “We want our kids and their peers to have a healthy planet, and also to be happy. We want to create that ‘community’ for everyone, so people can come home to a warm house, healthy food on the table and feel safe in their own home.”
Now, the family is encouraging others to donate to CMHA Kelowna and the Togetherness Campaign. “It (Mental Wellness) just feels like a human right and that everyone in our community should get that. It doesn’t happen as easily for some, and many people don’t get as many opportunities.”
Please consider following the lead of this generous family; and double your donation for our Togetherness Campaign to benefit mental health for all.
DONATE TO CMHA KELOWNA: https://cmhakelowna.crowdchange.ca/2187
On behalf of all of us at CMHA Kelowna we wish you a new year of possibilities, hope and good health.