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Our Community: Fundraising provides little libraries with truth and reconciliation books

The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network has launched the Little Free Library Truth and Reconciliation Book Project, a fundraising campaign to purchase children’s and young adult books about truth and reconciliation from local and Indigenous authors.

The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network has launched the Little Free Library Truth and Reconciliation Book Project, a fundraising campaign to purchase children’s and young adult books about truth and reconciliation from local and Indigenous authors.

The project builds on a previous one that purchased more than 900 copies of the Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action booklet for the 560 little libraries in the region.

“The first [project] was a big success. I was astounded by how quickly people stepped up to help us purchase copies of the Calls to Action for every little free library in the region,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Pocket Places Project lead and member of the board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.

“When it comes to reconciliation, we all have a role to play, and because education is critical to reconciliation, the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network wanted to expand the project and help share books about reconciliation for younger people.”

The project hopes to raise $10,000 to purchase books from local publishers and bookshops. The plan is for every library to receive at least one book in the next six months.

“The best way to work towards reconciliation is to educate our children,” said Jim LaMorte, a GVPN Board member. “Truth and reconciliation is a living concept that must be planted, allowed to take root, and nurtured over decades. This book project helps sow the seeds.”

• For more information, go to ­

Alzheimer sessions

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. has launched a series of free online education workshops for Greater Victoria caregivers and people living with dementia. The workshops will give participants the opportunity to be heard, take part in discussions on topics related to dementia and connect with others.

The 12 sessions are running on Tuesdays and Thursdays until Dec. 16.

“We want to ensure all participants have a good understanding about the topic, share what they think and encourage ­meaningful discussions,” said Lori Kelly, ­provincial ­co-ordinator, program operations at ­Alzheimer Society of B.C. “This allows us to engage caregivers and people living with dementia in deeper conversations about topics on living with dementia and caregiving compared to our regular weekly webinars.”

The 90-minute workshops are facilitated by experienced Alzheimer Society of B.C. staff.

The next workshop, Living Safely with Dementia, starts at 10 a.m. Oct. 28.

• To register for the online education workshop, call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 or go to

• For more information, go to

Neighbourhood small grants program

Residents of Greater Victoria and the Quadra Village, Burnside Gorge, North Park and Oaklands neighbourhoods, in particular, have until the end of the month to apply for grants of up to $500 through the first stream of the Victoria Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants program.

Groups, families and individuals in the communities are invited to lead a project in their neighbourhood that enhances social connections and creates a sense of community and belonging.

“I just love the Neighbourhood Small Grants program because it is truly at the grassroots level and encourages anyone with an idea and some determination to bring their project to life and bring some joy to their community,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “We’re so delighted to be a part of this initiative, which has now spread from humble beginnings in Vancouver and Victoria to include all of Vancouver Island.”

There are six additional Neighbourhood Small Grants programs on Vancouver Island - in Nanaimo, Parksville-Qualicum, the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Clayoquot Sound and North Island-Mt. Waddington. Residents who live outside the communities in the program can apply through a second stream.

Projects given consideration are those that bring the community together, build community strength and resilience, or tackle social isolation. Such projects include care package deliveries or teaching people a new skill.

Any product, service or event created must be offered for free or for an optional small donation.

Applications are open until Oct. 30. Decisions on which projects will receive grants will be made in the fall, with projects to be carried out by May 2022.

• For more information, go to

Fundraising campaign for medical gear

The Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Healthcare Foundation is launching a new fundraising campaign to raise $2 million for a state-of-the-art Siemens X-ray machine and other equipment.

The X-ray machine at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital has been in continuous use for 16 years and is past the end of its expected life. The new machine will be faster, will expose patients to less radiation and will allow the medical imaging department to work more closely with the hospital’s surgical services.

Funds raised will also allow for renovations to be made to the room where the machine sits to ensure it meets safety standards, including access.

Other pieces of equipment on the list of equipment to be purchased include an ECG cart and a stress testing case system for the non-invasive cardiac lab; an ultrasound specifically designed for echocardiography; cardiac monitors for the emergency department; a Stryker table for the operating room; a flexible endoscopic examination system for speech therapy and a disinfecting washer for acute care.

For more information, or to donate, go to

Host a party, help with fundraising

Invite friends and family to dinner, but instead of them bringing wine or a dish have them contribute to your personal fundraising page during the Ronald McDonald House’s Home for Dinner community fundraising initiative, which hopes to raise $400,000.

You can cook a home-cooked meal or order take-out from a participating restaurant partner.

It is the fourth year of the fundraiser, which encourages people across B.C. and the Yukon to host safe in-person, outdoor or virtual dinners while raising money to support families travelling to Vancouver so their children can receive urgent medical care.

This year, Home for Dinner participants and the public are invited to join Ronald McDonald House B.C. for a virtual event on Oct. 14 to raise a toast to the communities lending their support to families in need.

For more information, go to

These bosses were tossed

The inaugural Toss the Boss campaign has raised more than $86,000 to benefit both the Victoria and Nanaimo Brain Injury societies.

The event saw 40 bosses tossed off the bungy bridge at WildPlay Nanaimo last Friday, with teams raising a minimum of $500 for the opportunity. Participants were treated to live music, a barbecue, food trucks and live streaming using drone technology.

Acquired brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability for Canadians under 40, with an incidence greater than that of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, HIV/AIDS and breast cancer combined.

The two Vancouver Island societies provide individual and group support, education and advocacy to brain injury survivors and their families. All programs are free.

For more information, or to sign up for next year’s event, go to