US Thanksgiving is one of my favourite days of the year. Mostly because working in a US-based organization means that there’s less email and fewer meetings for a couple days. And over the past couple years as Black Friday has crossed over the border into Canada, I’ve also appreciated saving a few bucks doing some early Christmas shopping.
What struck me this year though is there’s a series of days dedicated to buying – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – and just one, Giving Tuesday, that celebrates charitable giving. Doesn’t that seem wrong?
I felt better though after reading this research from CHIMP, the organization that runs the charity platform for The Tory Day Fund:
71% of Canadians feel a personal responsibility to make the world a better place.
That’s a pretty encouraging number, especially when the rest of the world seems to be protecting its own interests.
I didn’t join the other charities with an appeal on Giving Tuesday – mostly because Team Tory already gave during our campaign that wrapped up in October. It’s now our turn to put your donations to work by giving comfort to cancer patients undergoing treatment.
And there’s great news to share already:
- The Patient Buddy Service, the program we’ve funded at Sunnybrook, is now LIVE. Three days a week, a volunteer is on hand at the Odette Cancer Centre to greet new patients and make navigating their treatment easier. Service will be expanded with more volunteers, and Sunnybrook will adjust the service as the pilot program continues.
- We had a great discussion with Sunnybrook about purchasing beds for their chemo suites, which was the original goal of The Tory Day Fund. One of the biggest obstacles to make it happen is the size of the beds would mean they’d have to reduce the number of treatments available – not good. But they mentioned a type of chair that’s like a first class airline seat, which can lay flat as the patient likes. That seems like the best option and we could have them delivered within a few months!
- We have other potential programs to fund too, including one that enables patients who are dealing with financial hardship during their treatment to tap into funds for transportation, meals, etc. It seems wrong for someone who’s fighting for their life to have to struggle to pay for lunch too. And there’s another potential program, which would see patients dropped off curbside at the cancer centre and get assistance into the centre – preventing a high number of falls that occur, especially during the winter.
I love how much of an impact we’re able to make, and how soon we’re able to make it! It also gets me thinking already about next year’s campaign, since these programs we’re launching won’t stop. If you’re looking to continue donating to The Tory Day Fund, we make it easy to make a one-time donation or sign up for monthly payments – even $10/month makes a difference!
However much you give this holiday season, thank you for doing it. And for those of you who haven’t yet started your shopping, this Christmas countdown clock was donated to Kate and me by White Wood Studios – just 21 days to go!
Have a great week!