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Gifting outside the box

By: By Lucy Haines

  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 06:00 am

BIG HEARTS – Robert and June Haudenschild, who just made a major donation to Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation for needed medical equipment.
BIG HEARTS – Robert and June Haudenschild, who just made a major donation to Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation for needed medical equipment.
LUCY HAINES/St. Albert Gazette

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When lifelong St. Albert resident June Haudenschild and her husband Robert sold some property in town over a year ago, the retirees knew they wanted to make a donation to help the Sturgeon Hospital. The community-minded couple, who each volunteer a shift at the hospital’s information desk once a week, said the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation newsletter outlined a wish list of needed medical equipment, and they jumped on board.

“It was an opportunity to give to a good cause. The hospital is an important part of this city,” said Robert.

The substantial $45,000 donation from the Haudenschilds went toward purchase of a patient transport unit for the CCU/ICU and five vital sign monitors for the medicine unit.

“We have an amazing community. The foundation is so deeply appreciative to the Haudenschilds and all those who give so generously to support vital patient care equipment enhancements,” said the foundation’s executive director Katrina Black. “Whether it’s planned giving, buy-a-brick or other fundraisers, it all helps with the program needs of the hospital. It makes our community a healthier place to live.”

Especially at this giving time of year, people do open their hearts and wallets to those in need – the Kinette hampers or Salvation Army Kettle campaign, for example – worthy causes, of course, but there are also numerous community agencies in the city that may not have high visibility, but still welcome donations. Here are just a couple:

The St. Albert Family Resource Centre has served families in the area since 1982, offering education courses, workshops and one-on-one support services to members. Executive Director Sandy Biener said many young parents rely on the centre, whether with a donated blanket or quilt for baby, or courses on anger management, building self-esteem, or child rearing and development.

For a donation of $55 toward a family membership, Biener said a family can access both the free and at-cost programs offered year-round at the Campbell Park space. Any size of donation is appreciated, and can be made by calling the resource centre at 780-459-7377.

St. Albert Victim Services is a free support and referral service for community members that are victims of crime or a tragedy. Put in touch with victims through RCMP referral, self-referral or attending of a crisis call, volunteer advocates refer people for counselling, explain the court process to those involved in criminal cases, and accompany victims on court dates.

St. Albert Victim Services executive director Edith Podruzny said while the program receives some government funding, donations are needed to reach a goal of $50,000 to help keep expenses under 10 per cent. Any amount is appreciated, but tax receipts are available for donations of $20 or more.

“We rely heavily on community support. If people can’t do a cash donation, perhaps they’d consider a ‘person’ donation. It’s the little things that can mean so much to a victim – being a shoulder to lean on in court, offering a bottle of water – and we’re happy to have the help,” said Podruzny.

Victim Services is actively looking for advocates to volunteer for the program, which is housed at the RCMP building, 96 Bellerose Dr. For details, email information@stalbertvictimservices.ca, or call 780-458-4353.


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