There’s a saying that with age comes wisdom. For nine-year-old Brynn Tofflemire, wisdom’s come early.
Tofflemire celebrated her ninth birthday in May and instead of receiving presents she asked people to help her raise funds for Hospice Huntsville.
“Presents weren’t a big deal this year because it didn’t seem like I needed more,” said Tofflemire.
Her family is familiar with Hospice Huntsville as three members of her family used the services available there and her grandmother volunteers there.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” said her mother, Amy. “I’m so thankful that Brynn puts others before herself and has learned how important it is to give back to the community.”
Tofflemire had a goal of raising $500 through an online campaign and quadrupled her goal, raising $2,155.
“It made me feel excited to raise more than I expected,” she said. “It means a lot for them [hospice residents] to have a nice place to stay when they’re sick.”
In the online fundraiser, Tofflemire’s mother wrote, “Being home during this pandemic has definitely changed our lives drastically and has had us thinking so much more about how we can help others and just be better people as a whole. Brynn and I went to get the mail the other day and found a postcard in there from hospice explaining how these are especially difficult times for them, as they are not able to follow through with their spring fundraising [Hike for Hospice]. This made us feel sad and worried for them. Brynn had an idea. Seeing as her birthday is coming up and things might be a bit different this year with celebrating, she thought it would be a good idea to try and set up a little fundraiser rather than gifts. Any small amount will be very much appreciated, we know these are difficult times for everyone, so no pressure at all to give if you aren’t in a position to. We are just trying to spread love and kindness and show our support to Hospice Huntsville.”
The staff at Hospice Huntsville find Tofflemire’s donation heartwarming.
“On behalf of our staff, volunteers and residents at Hospice Huntsville we would like to give a huge thank you to Brynn and her whole family for their incredible efforts and support. It is heartwarming and inspirational for youth in our community taking the initiative to give back to our organization,” said Melissa Polischuk, fund development and public relations coordinator with Hospice Huntsville. “We are so proud of what Brynn has achieved. We are continually impressed and grateful by the generosity of our local community on a daily basis. The support, effort and compassion of young people in our community have shown that in difficult times, we see the best of others.”
Tofflemire and her family have raised funds for Hospice Huntsville in previous years through participating in the Swim for Hospice and Hike for Hospice events. The family then started doing their own swim and family barbecue and donated the funds raised to hospice.
Because Tofflemire raised a significant amount of money on her own, her grandfather’s name will appear on a plaque on the In Memoriam Donor Wall in the lobby of Algonquin Grace residential hospice. She would like to see other’s donate to hospice.
“Try donating even five dollars. Every little bit counts,” she said.
Hospice Huntsville relies on donations to fund 60 per cent of their operating costs.
“As a registered charity, Hospice Huntsville receives 40 per cent of our annual budget from government funding. We rely on donations and fundraising efforts to provide our services. Hospice Huntsville needs to raise $658,000 annually, $1,827 a day,” said Polischuk. “There are many ways that you can support Hospice Huntsville. You can organize a personal fundraiser, such as what Brynn did for the organization. Hospice Huntsville has just began a new public awareness/fundraising campaign spotlighting their incredible volunteers. ‘Why I Volunteer/Honour a Volunteer’ will feature a testimonial from a hospice volunteer as to why they are involved with the organization and an opportunity to make a gift in honour of hospice volunteers.”
Funds raised are used to help purchase nursing supplies, personal protective equipment, groceries and personal care products for residents.
“Brynn’s gift to Hospice Huntsville along with all donations to our organization are necessary to keep the doors open of Algonquin Grace, our residential hospice, so that we can continue to provide quality care to our community members,” said Polischuk.
For more information on how you can raise funds for Hospice Huntsville through a personal fundraiser, how to make a donation in honour of a hospice volunteer, or to volunteer, contact Hospice Huntsville at 705-789-6878 or visit hospicehuntsville.com.
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