Since launching on Nov. 1, the East Kootenay Foundation for Health’s (EKFH) Not Alone campaign has raised an impressive $169,000 for the creation of Foundry East Kootenay, an integrated care centre providing mental health, substance use and primary care for local youth and families.
Following a series of donations made on Giving Tuesday, the campaign will be boosted by an additional $55,000 in donor commitments.
“It’s been going phenomenally, I’m really proud to live in the East Kootenays,” said Brenna Baker, executive director of the EKFH.
“The Elk Valley has been huge, they’ve really stepped up – and we’re getting donations from Golden, Invermere, Creston and Kimberley, so every single community is donating to this, and I think it’s just because everyone knows someone who has been touched by it.”
Among the donations made on Giving Tuesday was $10,000 from Chris Thom at Dunlop Truck Centres Cranbrook, a long-time donor to the EKFH’s Starlight Campaign, as well as $10,000 from Cranbrook Dodge, who committed to fundraising a further $21,000 in 2021.
Large donations were also made on behalf of GFL Environmental, who pitched in $5,000, along with Calvin Domin’s run from Sparwood to Cranbrook, which has raised $31,000 and counting.
Other community fundraisers donating to the campaign include the #FernieStreak challenge, which collected roughly $500 within 24 hours, as well as the annual Fernie Firefighter Calendar.
According to Baker, the EKFH is adding to the efforts by applying for grants, having just been approved for a $10,000 grant from The Home Depot.
“I just wanted to thank the communities all over the east Kootenay and individuals for all they’ve done, getting the word out and for donating… I really think that this is the most supported campaign that we’ve run and I can’t wait to make it happen,” added Baker.
Though the campaign hopes to fundraise the 1.4 million in 18 months, Baker set her sights high, saying she hopes the goal can be reached within the next five.
In addition to fundraising, Baker also highlighted the importance of spreading awareness not only about the campaign, but also about general need for youth mental health services.
“We’re just trying to think of other ways to get the word out and getting people to talk about it.”
To donate to the Not Alone Campaign, visit the EKFH’s website at Ekfh.ca.
Residents may also donate by calling 250-489-6481, or mailing donations to East Kootenay Foundation for Health, 13 24th Ave N. Cranbrook BC, V1C 3H9.