Our Community: $1M donation to critical care in honour of hospital workers

A local grandmother who recently donated $1 million to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation to help fund critical-care needs at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals hopes her actions will inspire others.

The woman said that she prefers to remain anonymous so as to focus attention on the ­inspiration for her gift.

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“In the past year, there have been so many dark days. But there has been light, too,” she said. “I have been so impressed by our local ­hospital teams — they have not only kept moving ahead in these challenging times but have kept ­improving the care they provide, too. I thank them and I thank the community who came together to ­support our hospitals with donations and gestures of gratitude.”

The anonymous donor joins about 4,000 individuals and corporate donors who have raised just over $7 million for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign.

The campaign has helped to bring into operation eight new leading-edge critical-care beds and the ­purchase of urgently needed equipment at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Donations will also facilitate the upcoming building of Vancouver Island’s first permanent high acuity unit, which will provide an intermediate level of care between acute and intensive care.

“My donation is a way for me to be a part of the COVID-19 response, but also to build up our hospitals for the future, for all Islanders,” said the local woman.

Her hope is that her actions will create momentum within the community. “Our hospitals are at the heart of our ­community. They help all of us. Let’s help them in return.”

• For more information and to donate, go to victoriahf.ca.

Filipino Heritage Month

June is Filipino Heritage Month and the Victoria Filipino Canadian Association is inviting residents to join in the celebration with a virtual Mabuhay Filipino Arts and Culture Festival, now until June 17.

The virtual festival showcases Filipino dances, songs, spoken-word poetry, interviews with visual artists and members of the Victoria Filipino community.

There will be guest performers from other cultures as well, creating a multicultural vibe.

New videos will be added every day until June 17. You can also pre-order an assortment of authentic Filipino dishes starting at $2 from June 14 to 17. Orders can be picked up between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. June 19 at the Philippine Bayanihan Centre, 1709 Blanshard St.

For more information, video links and to order food, go to thevfca.com.

Sierra Club Foundation seeks vehicle donations

The Sierra Club Foundation is accepting donations of vehicles — running or not — to support its programs.

They will take cars, trucks, boats, RVs or motorcycles.

Recycling your car is good for the environment, and more than 80 per cent of a vehicle can be recycled. In North America, 13 million vehicles are recycled annually, recovering 14 million tons of steel.

The industry also recovers close to 91 million litres of used oil from the vehicles.

Your vehicle will be picked up for free. You will also get a tax receipt, if applicable.

For more information, go to sierraclubfoundation.careasy.org or 1-855-337-4377.

Black Youth Empowerment offers bystander intervention workshop

The Black Youth Empowerment group is looking for 15 Black youth to take part in a pilot bystander intervention workshop made by Black youth for Black youth, June 30.

The group, formed in the winter of 2020, is made up of six high school students. The youth came together while reviewing the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre’s Project Respect, an anti-violence education program.

The goal of the workshop is to ensure that the information about bystander intervention is culturally relevant.

The primary question they need answered is: “How does the workshop content resonate with our Black identities and lived experiences?”

The workshop will also discuss types of bystanders and the interventions Black youth can consider when responding to acts of gender-based and racialized violence.

Participants will learn about bystander roles, how to be an intervener, and how to contribute to creating safer communities.

The Zoom workshop is open to Black youth (Black-African ancestry/heritage) who are currently attending high school in British Columbia.

The workshop is free to join. It starts at 5 p.m. on June 30. Registration is online. For more information, go to their website or follow them on Instagram.

Funding to support vulnerable people

The United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island has announced funding to support vulnerable people from the Malahat to Port Hardy.

The non-profit organization is supporting 35 local charitable organizations and initiatives to address service gaps and emerging needs in central and northern Vancouver Island.

“As we continue to navigate the new pandemic normal, we are proud to support these essential on-the-ground agencies as they help our vulnerable neighbours. Issues like homelessness, mental health, and food security are not new, but COVID-19 made them much worse,” said Signy Madden, executive director of United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island. “We received an abundance of applications from local agencies looking for financial support to keep their programs running and for new programs that can address specific concerns across the region. This shows how much the community cares and how much support is needed.”

A total of 39 local programs run by the agencies will be supported through the United Way’s four initiatives: Healthy Communities, All That Kids Can Be, Healthy People and Poverty to Possibility.

For more information and a list of the organizations funded, go to uwcnvi.ca.

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