Our Community: 100+ Women Who Care raises $26,000 for hospice

The Victoria Hospice was presented with a cheque for $26,200 by 100+ Women Who Care Victoria last week.

The group of generous women meet for one hour, four times a year. They donate $100 at every meeting and together select a local charity or not-for-profit organization to receive the donation. To date, they have disbursed more than $100,000 to the community.

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“We are thrilled that Victoria Hospice will benefit from this inspiring group of women who are dedicated to making a difference in our community,” said Natasha Benn, Victoria Hospice director of fund development.

“With nearly 50 per cent of Victoria Hospice’s program costs funded by donations, this money will go directly to our efforts to provide the best end-of-life care for our patients and their families.”

Victoria Hospice has a 17-bed inpatient unit, and provides crisis intervention for people dying at home, as well as grief counselling following the loss of a loved one.

100+ Women Who Care number close to 300 members in Victoria committed to community causes and service.

Go to 100womenvictoria.com.

Girls follow women in helping community 

Hot on the heels of their role models, a group of community-minded eight- to 13-year-old girls have formed 100 Girls Victoria.

The group, led by 11-year-olds Ella Lloyd and Lily Coté, is modelled on 100 Women Who Care.

The group held their first meeting last month, with 28 girls attending. At the first meeting, they raised more than $200, which was distributed to KidSport.

Although parents may to drive the girls to their events and other other support, they are not allowed to be fully involved. Donations range from $1 to $10.

The group’s main focus is to inspire other kids to realize they can make a difference, and are stronger by working together as a group.

To get involved, email 100girlsvictoria@gmail.com or visit Facebook.

Wheeler raises $4,000 for non-profit gym

MOVE Adapted Fitness’s Team On The MOVE was named the top fundraising team in the CHEK Charity Pledge program at Sunday’s GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, raising more than $8,000.

Able-bodied Jennifer Maxwell chose to complete the eight-kilometre race in a wheelchair so she would better understand what her clients experience on a daily basis. She raised more than $4,000 and came in second in the individual category for her efforts.

Clients of the non-profit gym include people with spinal cord and brain injuries, MS, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, stroke and other conditions.

For more information, go to moveadaptedfitness.ca.

Credit union takes donations for refugees

People wishing to donate toward alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees can do so at all branches of the Coastal Community Credit Union.

The credit union is accepting donations on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross. Donations accepted until Dec. 23 will be matched by the Canadian government.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, half of Syria’s population is now dependent on humanitarian assistance as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict, with almost four million Syrians fleeing to neighbouring countries.

The credit union’s branches and insurance offices across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will accept cash or cheque donations from members, clients or the public.

Please make cheque donations payable to Coastal Community — Refugee Crisis Appeal. Tax receipts will be issued by the Canadian Red Cross for donations of $20 or more. For information, go to cccu.ca.

Give a box of happiness to a woman in need

The Shoebox Project, where volunteers create gift-filled shoeboxes for women living in shelters, has reached Vancouver Island, just in time to kick off its Holiday Drive, which started on Tuesday and runs until Dec. 6.

Women living in poverty are forced to make tough personal sacrifices every day to provide for their families or to secure stable housing. Often, this comes at the expense of their own personal comfort and self-care.

Across the country, the project help reduce these pressures by providing homeless or at-risk women with a decorated shoe box.

The box comes filled with basic personal-care items, such as deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, haircare and socks — but also some items a financially strapped woman won’t have the means to purchase. People are encouraged to include items such as makeup, skin-care products and jewelry — small things that can help a woman feel beautiful and confident.

People putting together a shoebox can add to the gift feeling by customizing the shoebox with decorations and images, cards or inspirational quotes or messages.

The Shoebox Project enables people to create a gift for someone who really needs one. It’s easy, fun and means so much to the women who receive them.

Go to shoeboxproject.com.

Mental health gets boost from Bell fund

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation has just received a $20,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. The grant will support the training for physicians to provide patients with a new form of mental health treatment called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

“The Victoria Hospitals Foundation is proud to partner with Bell Let’s Talk to support mental health at Royal Jubilee Hospital,” said John Madden, board secretary of the foundation.

“This grant will enable Island Health to send physicians to world-class training sites for intensive orientation to this highly specialized new form of treatment. We would also like to congratulate Bell for renewing Bell Let’s Talk for another five years and its new funding commitment of at least $100 million across the country.”

Island Health will begin offering rTMS treatment in January, adding another component to the hospital’s broad range of mental-health services.

The grant is part of the telecommunications company’s initiative to promote mental health. The company additionally runs national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns. In the past five years, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has invested more than $5 million in hundreds of community programs and services.

Go to bell.ca/letstalk.

Elder care co-op supports seniors

Coastal Community Credit Union has given $10,000 in grant money to the first elder co-operative in the province and one aimed at supporting seniors in the Cowichan Valley.

The recipient of the grant, the Cowichan Elder Care Co-operative, will help seniors extend their time living at home by acting as a trusted resource for referrals, arranging sub-contractors and co-ordinating volunteers to deliver services.

Our community needs to reacquaint itself with people caring for people,” said Roger Hart, a longtime promoter of community economic development in the Cowichan Valley. “With increased demand on social and health services, the elder-care co-op will provide meaningful work for active senior members of our community willing to offer services in accordance with our desire for seniors helping seniors.”

The co-op will move into new offices at Providence Farm next month and will host a social to launch member services. For information, go to cecc.coop.

Kids phone program aimed at male teens

Kids Help Phone, with funding support from the Movember Foundation, has just launched BroTalk, a dedicated online support zone and referral service for male teens.

BroTalk has been designed to address issues that prevent teens from reaching out, such as social stigma, gender stereotypes and even the term “mental health.”

The new service, aimed at youth between 14 and 18, provides teen guys with somewhere to reach out to when times are tough. They can get direct access to a Kids Help Phone counsellor through Live Chat, information and interactive tools.

The cost of the service, estimated to be $3 million, is part of the Movember Foundation’s $30-million investment in men’s mental-health projects across Canada since 2013.

Background facts:

• Young men are 31 per cent less likely to discuss mental and emotional health than girls.

• Young men are 36 per cent less likely to talk about suicide and suicide-related issues.

• While suicide attempts are higher for females, death by suicide among males is four times higher.

Go to kidshelpphone.ca.

Nominate community leaders for annual awards

Know of an exemplary community leader? You can nominate someone in one or more of seven award categories in the upcoming Victoria Leadership Awards. This is the 12th year of the awards.

“Victoria’s greatest resource is the network of tireless leaders who inspire others,” said Susan Low, Leadership Victoria executive director.

“Coming from diverse backgrounds and working across a variety of sectors, they are united by a common cause: To build a strong and vibrant capital region. We’re pleased to once again invite the public to nominate a friend, neighbour or co-worker who exemplifies the selfless spirit of community leadership.”

Nominations are being accepted until 4 p.m. Dec. 1 for seven award categories:

• The University of Victoria Community Leadership Award

• Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria Community Leadership Award

• Vancity Savings Social Innovation Leadership Award

• Coast Capital Savings Youth Leadership Award

• Royal Roads University Leadership Excellence Through Coaching and Mentoring Award

• Leadership Victoria Alumni Award

• Leadership Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipients of the awards will be announced at a gala ceremony on Feb. 25, 2016.

Go to leadershipvictoria.ca/ victoria-leadership-awards.

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