Donor helps Wellspring support families
When Wellspring expanded its program scope to bring families into the fold, parents and grandparents welcomed the much-needed support for the youth in their lives, who are often deeply impacted by a cancer diagnosis in the family.
“When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, there are just so many hard conversations to have, especially when there are kids in the family. Kids can be very affected – no matter how much you try to shelter them, a lot of the hard stuff is happening to them too. Having a support community that offers programs for kids as well as the patient and caregiver is really important. For me, when I was diagnosed, Wellspring was a beacon of positivity in a frightening time. When I participated in programs, I felt safe and happy and when my son joined me I felt it strengthened our relationship and helped us to have the conversations we needed to have so we could both be okay,” said Kate B, Wellspring member and donor.
Today, Wellspring offers a variety of kid-friendly programs, but the province-wide non-profit could not sustain such a comprehensive array of support and resources for families living with cancer if it were not for the generous support of donors, such as Telus Friendly Future Foundation.
TELUS Friendly Future Foundation Gives Kids Programs a Boost
TELUS Friendly Future Foundation (TFFF) is a registered charity dedicated to the health and well-being of kids and youth. Lucky for Wellspring, the Foundation recently decided to fully fund Wellspring’s request for a $20,000 grant to help with kid-friendly programs.
“Our funding decisions are made by the TELUS Calgary Community Board, comprised of nine members – both internal and external to TELUS – all of whom have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the community, and what the most urgent and critical needs are,” said Britt Kubicz, Senior Community Investment Manager at TELUS. “In the case of Wellspring, the Board could see the compelling need, as well as the popularity and effectiveness of the Wellspring kid-friendly programs. The program fits well with our criteria as it is offered both in-person and online using technology, which increases the accessibility for kids impacted by cancer across Alberta.”
Wellspring Online Enables Borderless Community
One of the few but important upsides to the pandemic, was Wellspring going full-scale online and being able to extend its reach to virtually anyone with a computer. In the case of the kid-friendly program, families as far away as Ontario and BC have tuned in to attend programs offered by Wellspring online.
Closer to home, two Calgary families share the impact of Wellspring programs they have attended with their kids.
“My daughter and I joined Super Saturdays online for four Saturdays in a row. She really loved it. There was a lot of crafts and some cooking activities but it mainly revolved around supporting kids and helping them share their emotions. Being able to talk about what they are grateful for, how they can help around the house, what it feels like to have a parent going through cancer. It was nice to do something together – a bonding time for us. But also, it’s an opportunity to help kids open up about cancer and how they are dealing with it. It helped address what she might be feeling,” said Connie, Wellspring member.
Connie and her daughter have also enjoyed taking Adventures in Art, and Kids in the Kitchen together.
Linda joined Wellspring when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. As a hands-on grandma, she was pleased to bring her grandson into her Wellspring support community.
“My grandson Matteo joined me for Adventures in Art online and he loved it! He really took to a few of the teens in the class and he loved sharing his work. It was a super cool way to spend time with him and with other families,” said Linda.
One thing that is consistently expressed by members, is gratitude for those who give generously to Wellspring to ensure they and their families are supported on their cancer journey.
“I sincerely appreciate all of the Wellspring donors whose contributions enable the many program offerings for those on a journey with cancer and their families. I am very grateful and thankful to the donors, staff and volunteers at Wellspring,” said Linda.