By Kristian Partington
Within each of Schlegel Villages’ 16 long-term care and retirement homes lies an inherent generosity that acts as the beating heart of the village. It can be seen in the dedication of team members and volunteers for the well being of residents and the support those residents often offer each other.
But it can also be seen in the way the villages rally for a cause. When an orphanage in Columbia where a team member from the Village at St. Clair grew up was devastated by fire displacing 150 girls, the village stepped up to raise funds. When a Typhoon ravaged The Philippines a few years ago, The Village of Riverside Glen raised more than $2,000 for the Red Cross. Money for Alzheimer’s disease research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation is always being raised and for the past five years, all villages have played an active role in support for some of the poorest families in Haiti through the Hand up for Haiti event, which has generated more than $200,000. On top of that, villages supported team members on two separate occasions as they raised money to cover the cost of two volunteer trips to Haiti, where they offered support and expertise while learning about the impact the raised dollars have had on families in the Haitian countryside.
Recently, I’ve been on the receiving end of this generosity and my heart brims with gratitude. On Aug. 11, my daughter and I will board a plane bound for Entebbe, Uganda and for two weeks we’ll be working in support of the Sonia Nabeta Foundation, whose goal is to help families living in the shadow of Type-1 diabetes. My son lives with this chronic disease and is managing beautifully because we live in a blessed land. In Uganda, children die every day from this manageable condition because knowledge, awareness and access to the tools needed to treat it are in terribly short supply. My daughter and I hope to help counter this current truth by raising awareness by sharing the stories of the struggles faced by these children and their families.
When Lina Oliveira and Pauline Dell’Oso at the Village of Humber Heights heard about our efforts to offset the cost of this volunteer trip, they never hesitated and team members in all neighbourhoods got on board. With a series of mini-bake sales, where team members brought snacks from various corners of the world into their neighbourhoods for sale, the team was able to offset almost the entire cost of one of our flights to Uganda.
There are too many people to thank individually, but their kindness will never be forgotten. There are so many causes worthy of support, and my heart is full thanks to the support we’ve received through Humber Heights and Schlegel Villages as a whole.
As a community, we can do great things and in terms of support for families in Uganda, we hope to make you proud.