Friday, October 7, 2011

A vote for well-being

At the DI, the homeless shelter where I work, we have submitted an 'idea' for funding to the AVIVA Community Fund -- a 'who gets the most votes' kind of competition that gives you a chance of winning money to fund a charitable endeavour.

Our medical centre is the foundation of our idea. It sees over 5,000 clients a year, many of them with complex and life-threatening issues. It is not funded by government or any other foundation. We have to raise the funds every year to ensure we can provide clients the well-being and health care they need, and deserve.

Yesterday, to support our bid for the AVIVA fund nomination, I interviewed one of our clients. The nurse who'd arranged for me to sit and chat with Jim didn't tell me any of his circumstances, just replied to my query of whether there was a client who'd be willing to talk about his story with a brief, "Jim will do it."

And that is why I came to be sitting across from a blue eyed man of quiet wit and gentle spirit. That is why tears (always the tears these days) flowed as Jim talked about his journey into homelessness, and into this new dimension of his life.

My words cannot do Jim justice. I'll let him tell you about himself.

And before I do, share Jim's story, if you could take a moment after hearing Jim to visit the AVIVA Community Fund and register to vote and then vote -- every single day until October 19 -- it would be greatly appreciated. And please, Twitter, FB, share the story with everyone you know. Help us keep helping people like Jim to live the life they have with dignity and respect. Please, encourage everyone to vote -- you don't have to live in Calgary, Alberta, or Canada. You just have to care to offer your support.

Thank you.


Fi said...

For someone with such a sad prognosis and no real home to call his own - Jim looks happy and healthy. I know, looks are deceptive, but it's obviously testament to the care he receives at the DI.

When Jim talked of floors and the number of people I realised I have no real concept of how big the DI is or that people 'live' there as opposed to just staying there to get off the streets.

The other realisation - you sound nothing like I expected, not that I know what I expected :-)

Off to vote now

Fi said...

Posted on Facebook as well - all the best with your very worthwhile project

Maureen said...

There are few so deserving of funds. DI is one of them. Thank you for sharing Jim's story. He's a lovely man.

S. Etole said...

Words are hard to find ... thank you for all that you do.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I love the love
that pours from your heart
for all of these misunderstood,
falsely judged ones.
Hope your dream grows swiftly
and that provision comes
and just blows your mind.
love and joy,