‘How Can I Help?’
Foundation provides options to support local health care staff.
In response to the increasing need and motivation to support the morale of staff at Kelowna General Hospital, the KGH Foundation is encouraging anyone wishing to help to donate online through their website and display the signature ‘white heart’ in their window.
“Demonstrations like the one outside KGH yesterday are another huge blow to morale,” says one KGH nurse who asked to remain anonymous.
“People want to take action to show their support for our health care workers. We’ve had numerous calls and requests asking ‘How can I help?’ says Doug Rankmore, KGH Foundation CEO.
“We are working directly with KGH administration, department managers and our Spiritual Care Lead to ensure all funds go directly to care and comforts that help relieve some of their stress and brighten their day, even just a little,” says Doug Rankmore.
Although well-meaning, delivering food, flowers or other gifts directly to the hospital is being discouraged.
“Due to increased measures for infection control during the pandemic, we often can’t accept these gifts. So we want to ensure that people have a viable option to channel their generosity,” adds Rankmore.
Indeed, after 19 months navigating the chaos and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, more and more health care workers are speaking out publically about the toll it has taken.
“We are seeing it day in and day out,” says Derek Koch, Spiritual Health Practitioner and Patient & Family Centred Care Lead at KGH.
“Our teams continue to deal with their own fears, loss, disappointment and personal risk, digging deep to give of themselves through each and every shift. And then they come back and do it again the next day. They are tired, they are demoralized and they need our support.”
In response, the Foundation is revving up the White Heart Project - originally launched at the beginning of the pandemic as a way for the community to demonstrate support for local health care workers.
Those wishing to help can choose to give a gift, or simply download the signature ‘White Heart’ printable PDF and post it in their windows.
All funds raised will go directly towards the purchase of care and comfort items, such as coffee, baked goods, lunches, mental health supports and respite opportunities, for both KGH staff and health care workers in the community, in particular, staff at local long-term care facilities such as Brookhaven, Cottonwoods and David Lloyd Jones.
“Supporting health care workers in this way has tremendous impact,” says Rankmore. “Not only does it boost morale but it will also positively affect the patient care experience by relieving some of the emotional burden staff are carrying. And maybe renewing their faith in humanity. For folks that got into these professions because they genuinely want to help people, this is so important.”
Generosity, much of it conducted quietly and with no need for recognition, continues to prevail in this community. The foundation encourages all who wish to take action in support of our incredible health care staff to do so. They need it more than ever.
To make a gift, visit kghfoundation.com/whiteheartproject.