A donation made out of love

St. John Community School staff raise funds for the Rose Garden Hospice Campaign

Submitted photo. Staff of St. John Community School pose with Marina Mitchell of the Rose Garden Hospice (second row, sixth from right) during a donation presentation on Oct. 25, 2019.

A $900 contribution from the staff at St. John Community School wasn’t he largest donation he Rose Garden Hospice had ever received, but it certainly wasn’t any less important.

The staff members raised the funds through their dress down day, either contributing a toonie at a time or writing a cheque for the donation they wanted to make.

The slowly-growing donation was all about one thing — love.

“Every year we have a dress down fund we try to choose a charity that fits our gospel value,” said school principal Mark Cantin.

“This year our gospel value was love. What better charity to pick than a hospice to show love to people?”

Cantin said the hospice was by far the top choice when the options were put to the staff for a vote.

“With every charity, there’s the opportunity to show love and bring that love forward. When you have someone whos passing away, you need a situation where they can be cared for and loved minute by minute. That’s what the Rose Garden Hospice is going to be about, providing comfort and care for people who are in the process of passing away. They’re going to be providing that love to those patients.”

The hospice project, which is out to raise $4 million to fund the construction of the facility, came about out of a family’s love for one of their own. Rose Daschuk passed away in the hospital after a battle with cancer. Her daughter Marina Mitchell has been leading the charge to build the needed end-of-life care facility in the city.

Once the 10-bed, 10,000 square-foot hospice opens, it will be supported by the province, which will provide annual operational funding of up to $2 million per year beginning in 2021.

Dozens of businesses and individuals have made donations, large and small, to help the cause.

“No matter the dollar amount, we really appreciate (those donations), Mitchell said.

“It just shows that no matter what you do, this is a community-driven project. It’s great to see people from the community think of us as their cause.”

Mitchell agreed that the hospice project is a perfect example of sharing love.

“Love encompasses everything,” she said.

“For us, it’s about the continued love of a dying person, giving them comfort and care, and continuing that love in their final days and even after. That’s what we’re all about.”

Photo courtesy Rose Garden Hospice

The staff of St. John Community School pose for a photo with Marina Mitchell, sixth from right.