Bethel Hospice aided by Caledon’s 100 Women Who Care

December 15, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Bethell Hospice Foundation in Caledon will soon be benefiting from the efforts of 100 Women Who Care Caledon.

The women gathered for their fourth and final meeting of the year last Wednesday at the Caledon Ski Club. The organization, with around 115 members, completed their first year, and successfully raised $29’000 in just four meetings over only four hours.

Michele Newton, one of chapter’s founders, says the number of members and money raised surpassed her expectations. “It’s been very successful.”

Participants were able to nominate an organization ahead of time, with three randomly drawn. Each participant pledged $100 to contribute. The nominators were given five minutes to make their pitch to those in attendance.

Debbie Davis spoke on behalf of Bethell Hospice in Inglewood, which has a 10-bed residence and provides care for people facing a life-limiting illness and their families.

She says they are required to fundraise themselves 40 per cent, roughly $1-million, every year. “So we don’t have a lot of money left over at the end of the year for extra services that we would like to provide for our clients and their families.”

Ms. Davis says they would like to provide those extra services, which are focus programs for families and art therapy, which helps “stimulate the imagination to express grief in alternative ways.”

She says both programs would be available to anyone, and participants will engage in therapeutic-activity-based arts and crafts projects. “The objective is to increase their wellness and sense of well being after experiencing a loss.” A trained art therapist would run the therapy.

Last week’s efforts raised a total of $8,200 in an hour.

The other nominees were Habitat for Humanity (HFH) and the Youthdale Riding Program.

Heather Kendall spoke for HFH, discussing how over the summer, Caledon received the first-ever HFH building, which has 10 three- and four-bedroom townhouses.

She says donations help maintain the building. “Families will find stability, safety, and a sense of community.”

Ms. Kendall says, “due to soaring real estate prices and severe affordable housing shortages in the GTA,” 43 per cent of renter households spend 30 per cent of their income on rent. “This prevents them from building equity to buy a home in the future.”

Helen Meek-Hickey spoke on behalf of Youthdale, saying they provide therapeutic horseback riding for at risk youth from ages 12 to 21, as horses “just give back” and don’t judge the youth.

Ms. Meek-Hickey says they need donations to deal with the fees for horses, as they have eight currently, each costing approximately $10,000 a year.

She explained many of the youth come from dysfunctional homes, and deal with violence, abuse and self-harm. “Their coping strategies have been to act out, run away, and shut down. … They don’t see themselves as fitting in.”

She says they help roughly 65 to 75 youth yearly, and they find an emotional connection and partnership with the horses, to build on their confidence and success through dealing and caring for them.

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