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Community steps up to donate, install much-needed new beds at VIMHS houses

September 11th, 2017 | Posted by vimhsadmin in currents newsletter | fundraising | news & views | people first media

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picture 762pfr-banner-post-1Members of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, along with Sleep Country Canada and individual donors, have made a tremendous difference in the lives of Vancouver Island Mental Health residents

Sponsor-a-Bed fundraising campaign

picture 762aVIMHS manager of human resources Gillian Baker, along with a VIMHS resident,
pose in front of a small mountain of donated beds and bedding, gifted by
Sleep Country Canada, Rotary Club of Nanaimo, and a group of generous individuals

Vancouver Island Mental Health Society residents, living in several of the Society’s housing programs, needed new bed frames, mattresses, sheets, and pillows. The need had grown over time, so an appeal was launched in the spring of 2017. A full bed for one resident, including bed bug resistant frame, mattress, bed bug cover, and bedding costs just over $500.00. VIMHS needed to purchase 23 twin mattresses, 13 bed bug resistant frames, 23 bed bug covers, and 23 bedding and pillow sets.

This is where the community stepped in to make the difference. Sleep Country Canada (in Nanaimo) graciously offered to partner with VIMHS on the campaign, with a 70% discount on all beds and bedding purchased. Individuals donated up to $500 each to help VIMHS reach its $11,500 goal to purchase the beds and bedding. But it took a very generous donation from the Rotary Club of Nanaimo to bring it all together.

Work bee brings it all together

picture 762bDebbie and Kim were among a group of nearly 30 Rotarians working to install
new beds at VIMHS residences on August 26, 2017

picture 762cThe Rotarians not only provided the funds needed to meet the goal of the campaign, they also sent a team of helpers over to the VIMHS residences on Rosstown Road, on Saturday August 26, 2017, to remove the old beds, install the new beds, and make them up ready for use.

A community BBQ followed [image right], with VIMHS residents and Rotarians sharing burgers and hotdogs. The generosity of the Rotarians, the local Sleep Country Canada store, and the individual donors to the Sponsor-a-Bed campaign will be long remembered.

We speak with Rotary Nanaimo club members Debbie Narver, Kim and Erin, and with Vancouver Island Mental Health Society human resources manager Gillian Baker.

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