Surrey Memorial Hospital has had an eventful 18 months. Situated at the epicentre of BC’s pandemic outbreak, it treated 40 percent of all COVID patients in the entire province. It also recorded some of the best patient outcomes in the world.
During my thirty year career in hospital fundraising, I have learned that the delivery of exceptional health care is a team effort. The pandemic reinforced this fact and highlighted to me that Surrey Memorial’s team extends well beyond the walls of the hospital into the community. It includes donors and volunteers.
Arguably, as health care has become increasingly complex, charity has become even more important. The pandemic underscored this for me. As the health care behemoth struggled to adjust to the new normal, our network of community volunteers and donors stepped in to help. They fed thousands of front line workers. They provided immediate, unrestricted cash for life-saving equipment; they secured tens of thousands of articles of PPE; and they funded multiple research studies around COVID-19 and survivorship. By acting creatively and quickly the community team bolstered the players on the front line so that they could continue their advance against the opponent, COVID-19.
As in any match, there are setbacks. Wave 3 was a very difficult set back for Surrey. It was exacerbated by the fact that, while Surrey was reeling with unprecedented admission, the rest of the province was witnessing the beginning of a recovery. These early and promising signs of recovery prompted many of our community team members to depart the field, directing their energies and funds to other deserving charities.
Fortunately for Surrey Memorial, one particular community volunteer member, Mr. Manjit Lit, stepped forward and offered a $100,000 match for donations to our depleted COVID-19 Fund. Mr. Lit is a developer, a White Rock resident, and a generous supporter of health care. Mr. Lit’s donation served as a catalyst for the Good Neighbours campaign. A campaign whereby we asked the owners of development companies with large projects near our hospital to make donations that would be matched dollar for dollar by Mr. Lit.
I am happy to say that developers in our own neighbourhood responded generously. Four longtime supporters – Blackwood Partners and Management Corporation, Century Group Lands Corporation, PCI King George Developments Inc., and Wanson Group dug deep and gave again. We also happily welcomed new supporters – Anthem Properties and Bosa Properties. Both made their first-ever donations in support of the hospital.
We are grateful for neighbours, old and new. We are thankful that they recognized the urgency of the situation and responded immediately and generously. As we are in the midst of wave 4 of this pandemic, we continue to look to our neighbours and are heartened to know that they’ll be there.
To quote Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Together, we are unstoppable.
President & CEO
Surrey Hospitals Foundation