Sometimes warm, dry socks, a cosy blanket, or nutritious food can make the difference between someone making a full recovery after leaving hospital and returning due to recurring poor health.
It was with that understanding that 10 years ago, the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation established the Whatever It Takes Fund, designed to support the community’s most vulnerable people.
“The Whatever It Takes Fund helps cover expenses for patients discharged from hospital and on their way home, helping stabilize them so they can recover fully instead of returning to hospital,” explains Heather Scott, Executive Director of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Administered by the hospital’s social work team, funds could cover groceries, warm clothing, toiletries or transportation costs for medical appointments, for example.
This year, the Foundation aims to raise $20,000 for the fund, recognizing the ever-growing need, fueled by rising costs of food, utilities, housing and other essentials.
“Food is a big one, and we work closely with Langley Meals on Wheels to help ensure people are getting the nutrition they need,” Scott says, recalling one patient who was admitted for malnutrition after forgoing food to save money for dentures.
Another woman was returning to an empty home after her husband died while she was in hospital. Thanks to generous donors, the hospital’s social work team used the Whatever It Takes Fund to help pay for private home care and grocery shopping assistance to maintain her health and nutrition while she gained strength at home.
Poverty doesn’t discriminate
And poverty doesn’t discriminate between age, gender or ethnicity. A new mom may be saving for a car seat, for example, and limiting her own meals while breastfeeding. Yet, “you want a new mom eating well for the health of the little one,” Scott says, commending the social work team for stretching donations as far as possible.
With rising prices, the need continues. “Since 2020, the need for food has grown by 20 per cent. However, the funding has not kept up with that pace,” Scott emphasizes.
“It’s heartbreaking to think that there are people in our community who have to choose between food and other necessities,” Scott says. “When donors give to this fund, they’re helping the most vulnerable people in our community, and for that we are forever thankful.”
How you can help
To help the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation do Whatever it Takes, visit lmhfoundation.com/urgent-needs/whatever-it-takes-fund where you can donate easily and securely online.