Headwaters’ Angel Campaign seeks $100,000 for vital equipment

December 15, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

As another year creeps ever closer to its end, Headwaters Health Care Foundation (HHCF) is making one last push in 2017 in an attempt to help their “everyday angels” help the community.

Since its launch way back in 2002, the local hospital has rolled out its big end-of-year Angel Campaign to great success. The annual fundraiser has raked in more than $1.8 million for the facility – all of which has gone towards purchasing “much needed” equipment, says Nicole Hand, HHCF’s Annual Giving Manager. Kicking off in November, this year’s Angel Campaign has already brought in more than $50,000, but Nicole would like to see that amount doubled by the time the initiative finishes up in the new year.

Considered to be something of a tradition at Headwaters hospital, the Angel Campaign is described by Ms. Hand as “different” from the other events and fundraisers the Foundation hosts.

“The Angel Campaign really is a Headwaters institutional program. Whenever anybody talks about it here, it’s always referred to as ‘the program that has been running forever’,” Ms. Hand said. “Essentially, though, it is our year-end campaign, that final push to help the facility and our physicians get the vital equipment they need. Rather than simply ask for money though, we ask that all of our potential donors think about the difference our hospital has made in their lives, or a friend’s life over the past year.”

The Foundation regularly sets up a 12-foot Christmas tree in the main entrance way of the hospital in anticipation of the campaign. As donations come in, little Angels are hung on the tree to recognize each and every hospital donor. Barely half way through the campaign, the tree is already full of Angels – a large majority representing the 320 staff members who have donated to the campaign.

A feature of the annual initiative is the ‘Angel Story’, which highlights a local resident’s story when dealing with the hospital. This year’s ambassador of sorts is Shelley Sullivan. A fairly new resident of the community, having moved here from Toronto, Shelley could not believe how well her first experience with Headwaters hospital went a little over a year ago.

“I’ve had to visit the hospital three times over the past year, all for very different reasons,” Shelley told the Citizen. “There was the time our toddler, Karine, had removed the heating vent cover in our new house and my eldest, Cordelia, slipped and cut her leg on the exposed metal… There was blood everywhere.”

Shelley, who was heavily pregnant with her third child at the time, rushed to the hospital. As she ran through the main entrance way, children in her arms, blood and vomit everywhere, she noticed a friendly face approaching, offering to help in any way she could. She was taken to the ER and her daughter was cleaned up and discharged within hours. In her second visit, Shelley gave birth to her third child – a big deal, she admits.

“I didn’t have particularly good experiences with my daughters’ births at other hospitals, so I’d planned on a home birth… Imagine my distress when my midwife told me she was concerned and that I would have to deliver my third child in a hospital after all,” Shelley recalls.

Everything went exactly to plan with the pregnancy and, in her third visit, which involved x-rays and consultations with physicians regarding Karine, she was quickly told there was nothing to worry about and quickly discharged.

“You get a very different type of care at Headwaters Health Care Centre. It is a true community hospital where the doctors, nurses, volunteers, pretty much everyone, seems to care,” Shelley said.

“The ER here in Orangeville helps as many people as St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto – up to 120 visitors a day. The difference here is we don’t have to fight over stretchers, we don’t have to park two blocks away or run through halls trying to find staff to help tell us what’s happening with our loved ones. That’s because this community cares about its neighbours and the hospital cares about its patients. It’s a great, great hospital.”

Shelley has since started volunteering with the local facility – she regularly helps out with HHCF events and is a sitting member on the Foundation’s annual Hospital Gala committee. Nicole says its volunteers and ambassadors just like Shelley who help to make the Angel Campaign an overwhelming success each and every year. She’s looking forward to celebrating what so hopes will be another big year in 2017.

“This is one of those campaigns where if everyone just contributes a little we end up with a lot. We’ve been very fortunate to have amazing growth in the past few years. We’ve seen some amazing totals, which really helps because the Angel Campaign really touches every area of the hospital. The funds go towards priority medical equipment – what we do need right now at this moment,” Nicole said.

In conclusion, Shelley noted that while it’s important to enjoy Christmas with your families, it’s equally important to spare a thought for those who may fall upon hard times over the festive period.

“Good health is one of the most common wishes we give our friends during the holidays; unfortunately there are some circumstances that we cannot control. People get sick, accidents happen all the time and when they do I want to know we have access to a well-equipped hospital in our community,” Shelley said. “Giving a donation through this Angel Campaign is one way we can ensure our friends and families get the care they need during a tough time in their lives.”

For more information on HHCF’s Angel Campaign, or to make a donation, contact Nicole at 519-941-2702 ext. 2309, or by email at

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