By Kaitlyn Clark
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Both of Haldimand’s local hospitals received greater gifts than expected during their respective holiday fundraising campaigns, raising over $320,000 between them, an achievement only made more impressive by the restraints caused for fundraising during a pandemic.
West Haldimand Hospital and Healthcare Foundation (WHHHF) was looking to raise $100,000 during this year’s Trees of Caring campaign and had almost 600 donors donate $120,000.
“We are completely blown away by the support we received,” said West Haldimand General Hospital (WHGH) President and CEO Lucy Bonanno. “This community is so generous and so supportive. We know that it’s been a challenging year for everyone, but we have a community that cares about their hospital, and they stepped up in a big way. It is just so heartwarming.”
“The response from the community has been overwhelming and deeply appreciated,” said WHGH Board Chair Ray Hunsinger. “People work hard for their money, and they chose to donate to us. It means a lot, and we cannot thank the community enough. We are very thankful.”
Meanwhile, the Dunnville Hospital and Healthcare Foundation (DHHF) managed to raise $50,000 more this year compared to last, gathering a whopping $200,000 from 580 donors. Penny Banks, Executive Director of DHHF, said the Trees of Hope campaign success felt “surreal.”
“There truly are no words to express our gratitude!” said Banks. “The community surrounding the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital (HWMH) has once again gone above and beyond to show just how important their ‘exceptional hospital close to home’ really is!”
Interim HWMH CEO Sharon Moore said, “As we continue to struggle with the realities of COVID-19, the ongoing support of our community has been overwhelming. We are beyond pleased to see this positive show of support for our essential work.”
The funds raised will go towards supplying the respective hospitals with the tools and equipment they need to provide the best possible care to surrounding residents. Donations to the hospitals make it possible to purchase equipment that has not been funded by the government. For instance, HWMH will be directing this year’s funds to new sterilizers in the operating rooms, along with equipment in the lab and diagnostic imaging departments.
While the holiday campaigns act as one of the largest sources of income for these projects, fundraising continues throughout the year to address ongoing needs. Donation receipts are available. Visit whhhf.ca or call 905-768-3311 ext. 1238 to donate to WHGH; visit dhhf.ca or call 905-774-2529 to donate to HWMH.
Both campaigns operated in part as a chance to memorialize community members who have passed away, with donors being able to donate in honour of their lost loved ones. Ultimately, these campaigns wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community.
“Our patients, and the communities we serve, will continue to have access to high-quality, compassionate care close to home because of the generosity of our donors,” said Bonanno.
Hunsinger added, “Our community has shown time and time again that they want to support their hospital. It takes a community to support a hospital, and they continue to do so year after year. Words cannot express how grateful we are for their remarkable support.”
Liz MacDonald, DHHF Board Chair, said, “Our community continues to show their generosity throughout this pandemic. Not only did Trees of Hope raise $200,000, it also allowed us to honour those lost. I am so proud to be part of this network of support for our hospital.”
Banks concluded, “There is a uniqueness to our community that I have not seen in over 20 years of fundraising. I can truthfully say that I have never felt the genuine kindness at this level before.”