Independent Community Events Other


April 25, 2018 Update

We’re writing to share our glad news that our fundraiser is not only fully funded, but that we surpassed our goals – 2 times! - and also to thank you for your kind support of GF Strong through our campaign.

Six months ago we started our efforts, intending to raise $35,000 over 19 months. And today here we are, having raised over $50,000 in less than 1/3 the time!

Because of our success, and also due to GF Strong’s reassessment of what they needed most, our goals for specific equipment changed during our campaign. First, GFS and VGH/UBC Foundation requested that we re-prioritize the $20,000 Pressure-Mapping System to the top of our list. This we were able to do quickly, at which point representatives form GFS and VGH met and reassessed their next wishes. We agreed on working to fund some “unsexy” equipment (which was actually one of our original intentions, to fund things that don’t easily attract funding) of wheelchair replacement seats and backs, and commodes.

Our fundraising at this point was so successful, we were asked if we would be interested in raising the ceiling on our goal such that we could help purchase a piece of equipment that has been on the wish list for GFS for several years instead of the wheelchair parts and commodes. This wished-for equipment is a Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) machine. We were offered the opportunity of matching funds if we would raise money for this machine, and we said yes! With your help, we quickly raised the money for some wheel chair replacement parts, as well as the $26,000 for our half of this machine, and we heard directly from GFS staff how glad they are that this will soon be available for their use with clients.

We’re a small group of 48 members, but clearly a group with connections to a lot of good-hearted people like yourself. Our efforts included everything from making and selling mustard, cookies and other eatables as well as greeting cards, knitted items and other things; hosting such events as a gourmet wine-paired dinner at the Washington Avenue Grill, a Sunshine Coast Spa and Silent Auction event, a White Rock Pub Night out, a gift basket draw, a Book Sale, a day of professional sessions, and a Walkathon.

We invite you to join us in being thrilled at the thought of patients and their families having even a little more ease in their treatment because of the equipment you’ve helped purchase.

While we've completed our fundraising campaign, our VGH Foundation online donation page will remain open and you may continue to donate through it. The foundation will continue to work with GF Strong to ensure all additional funds go towards advancing patient care. You'll receive a tax slip and foundation thank you letter, but we will no longer be sending personal replies for any future donations.

We're considering seeds of possibility for future GF Strong support efforts – please stay tuned via the people you know in our practice!

Michele Ley, on behalf of all Spiritual Essential practitioners

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all of the organizers, donors and participants who generously supported the "Help GF Strong Help Us All!" campaign. We are overwhelmed by the support and commitment of the community as you rallied together to purchase urgently needed equipment for our staff and patients. The funds raised to purchase a Pressure Mapping Device, Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) device and wheelchair replacement sets ensure that our teams at GF Strong can provide the best rehabilitative care and support to families on their journey of healing, recovery, and improved quality of life. Philanthropy plays a key role in delivering health care to British Columbians and all of you are living proof of the impact a community can make!


April 6, 2018 Update:


Thanks to our generous donors and our participants' fine efforts, for the second time we’ve broken through the roof of our fundraiser, and as a result our equipment goals have become more ambitious. Our original goal of $35,000 was surpassed, and then our second goal of $40,000. And now VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has offered us the extraordinary opportunity to purchase a piece of equipment that will save much time and suffering for rehabilitation patients and their families. We now have a new goal of $47,520 and from now until May 1, the Foundation will provide a dollar for dollar match for a $52,000 Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) device (see description below) through their lottery match program. We’re committing to raise the funds to purchase this for them.

This means that our new goal is $47,520 for:
$20,000 - Pressure Mapping Device (already ordered)
$1524 - one set of wheelchair seat and back replacements
$26,000 - our half of the FEES device

Should we be able to raise more than this amount, we can purchase more of the needed wheelchair seat and back replacements, and even perhaps some of the commodes on their prior wish list! Fingers crossed!! Wouldn't it be splendid to have this campaign end with an even $50,000?!

We invite you to join us in this last effort to help GF Strong receive the equipment they need to help all in need.

FEES Description (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing)
The speech-language pathologists (SLPs) at GF Strong treat clients who have dysphagia (also known as swallowing difficulties). If dysphagia is not accurately assessed and treated, complications such as dehydration, malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia can arise and negatively impact the client’s health and quality of life. The SLPs do not have the equipment to perform instrumental dysphagia assessments on site and clients currently have to travel to UBC Hospital with their SLP for a radiological assessment called a modified barium swallow study (MBS). Wait times including transportation and radiology at UBC Hospital are often long and clients get can very fatigued. Having a FEES at GF Strong would greatly benefit clients by allowing for:
• Timely assessment and treatment for clients with dysphagia on site thereby increasing the effectiveness of their rehabilitation and potentially reducing the length of stay.
• Clients who are not ready to participate in a radiological assessment (MBS) can still be assessed and treated.
• Establishment of a therapy regime for to ready clients to eat or drink.


From October 2017 to June 2019, our meditation community is raising $35,000 to purchase much-needed medical equipment for the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Stroke and brain injury treatment tend to not be chosen as often for public fundraising efforts as many other medical conditions, yet they are greatly needed and has significant impact on the quality of life for those affected. All of us in BC benefit from helping this award-winning facility have the rehabilitation tools necessary to help those in need.

We are holding many small fundraising projects in addition to inviting individual donations. All monies received go directly to GF Strong, and when you donate directly on this page, you will automatically receive a tax receipt.

Who we are:
We are a small group of meditators who have been meeting regularly for many years. We practice cultivating the integration of spiritual awareness in all areas of our lives. One face of our practice is finding ways to give to the community, especially in areas that are often overlooked or underfunded.

About GF Strong:
GF Strong is British Columbia's largest rehabilitation centre, providing inpatient, outpatient, and clinical support services for patients and their families. Patients at GF Strong receive care for brain and spinal cord injuries, arthritis and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders.

In choosing GF Strong, we aim to help people with life-altering injuries and diseases. While in many cases there is no cure or possibility of full recovery, rehabilitation can offer significant improvement in quality of life. Though some of GF Strong's rehabilitation services are underfunded, they are of vital importance in providing essential medical care in our province.

When a fundraiser like ours takes place over a period of time, the reality is that the specific equipment identified as critical may change, and this has been the case here. VGH Foundation and GF Strong representatives met in early January and modified the original wish list of items we had been working towards. Please see below for notes on our progress to date, as well as our updated goals based on the requests of the therapists at GF Strong.

January 3, 2018: $21,000 raised so far
We’ve met our first fundraising goal of $20,000! These funds have been used to purchase a pressure-mapping device which enables therapists to check the fit of cushions and mobility devices to prevent bed sores and other pressure-related injuries. This device provides crucial information which can significantly reduce pain and suffering for patients at GF Strong, and it has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars spent annually for surgeries to repair pressure ulcers.

Next Goal (Updated as of January 2018):
The next $15,000 of our fundraising will go toward the replacement of indispensable daily-use equipment which wears out over time. Below is an overview of the equipment we hope to purchase.

The first goal is to purchase two shower commode wheelchairs, one self-propelled and one attendant-propelled ($4000 each). Commodes are an integral part of daily client care and help preserve clients’ dignity and sense of well-being by ensuring safe bathing and toileting.

With all remaining funds raised, we will purchase replacement wheelchair components. Wheelchair backs and seat cushions (each costing $760) need regular updating in order to provide optimal postural support and pressure relief. A variety of back rests and seat cushions make it possible to meet the range of clients’ unique sizes and support needs, and also make it possible to change and adapt the cushioning as a clients’ ability to balance improves. This increases comfort and mobility, and enables clients to participate fully in important activities at GF Strong.

Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $35,000!

You may make a donation online on this page. When donating $25 or more directly here, you will automatically receive a tax receipt as an attachment in the donation confirmation email from the VGH/UBC Foundation. Please note that their generic acknowledgement email states that your donation will go where it's most needed, but we've been assured that by donating through our page, your money will be earmarked for our fundraiser. As well, we will be sending you a more personal thank you email, which you will receive within the week following your donation.

Donors contributing $100 or more are invited to have their name/business name posted on our organization's website in acknowledgement of their contribution - please let us know if you would like this.

This is the link to share with others: (cut and paste)

Thank you for helping GF Strong’s helpers help! (cut and paste into browser)
Training and support for integrative spiritual practice – Based in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland B.C.

View More