SUNDRE - Lisa Nicholson, co-founder of the Hope 4 MVC Kids Society, recently gave an update to town council on the organization’s activities.
Serving communities throughout Mountain View County, the society’s stated mission is to, from a foundation of compassion, endeavour to provide support to families with children up to the age of 18 who are facing a variety of medical needs.
“We have six clear programs at the moment that we’re running, and we’re also trying to build on some as well,” said Nicholson, whose daughter Hope, now 16, helped inspire the organization’s name.
It was formed in 2013 and is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.
The multitude of available programs provide indirect financial assistance to the families of children who for example are disabled or perhaps in recovery from surgery or even requiring therapy such as counselling, she said, explaining that corroborating documentation from a medical professional is a prerequisite.
The society can also offer advocacy and support to families who might feel isolated and overwhelmed navigating a child’s illness or diagnosis.
“One of the things that gets confusing is people often think that we give cash to families,” she said.
“That’s actually never been true. We don’t give any money to families,” she made clear, later outlining the kinds of expenses the society can help to cover.
The main reasons are for tax implications for families and so anyone can donate to the organization with an established paper trail of where funds are going, she said.
To date, more than 75 applications have been approved, representing a total of about $200,000, she said, adding growth in the coming five years is anticipated and that a goal of raising another $175,000 by 2024 has been set.
The organization received the 2019 Premiers Council Award for excellence in community for its contribution to creating a barrier-free, inclusive community in Alberta.
This fall, a retro-themed fundraiser dubbed “Be Kind & Rewind: An '80s Experience” is scheduled for Nov. 27 at the Willow Lane Barn in Olds.
Concluding her report, Nicholson said volunteers are of course always welcome.
In the absence of questions from council, mayor Terry Leslie expressed gratitude for the group’s efforts and called for a motion to accept the presentation as information.
Coun. Todd Dalke so moved with unanimous support from council.
Visit www.hope4mvckids.org for more information about the society, including success stories of families who have benefited.