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Oak Bay student champions poinsettia fundraiser for kids facing health crises at Victoria hospital

Young student raises funds, awareness for Kids Kave at VGH
Poinsettias for Patients campaign coordinator Val Smith and Shreesha Ramandev, 12, celebrate her sales that will help fund a waiting room for youth at Victoria General Hospital. (Courtesy Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary)

One youth’s door-to-door sales will bring brightness to kids enduring health hardships over the holidays.

Shreesha Ramandev, 12, convinced her Oak Bay neighbourhood to buy festival flowers after the Grade 8 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School caught wind the hospital auxiliary was raising money for a waiting room for children at Victoria General Hospital (VGH).

Every winter, the volunteer-led Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary raises funds to buy equipment and amenities for VGH with its Poinsettias for Patients campaign. This year’s campaign will raise money for the Kids Kave, a waiting room where young people can escape during waits in the emergency department.

“We were thrilled that a young student would be so keen and work so hard. Shreesha also dug into her own savings to donate to the cause, and continues to seek support in her quest,” campaign coordinator Val Smith said.

READ ALSO: Auxiliary funds $150,000 in beautiful distractions for children at Victoria General Hospital

The deadline for the poinsettia campaign has passed but donations to the Kids Kave are still welcomed.

“We have a professionally painted mural, Westcoast Life by Marcela Strasdas and her team, and a mobile by Carol Koebbeman to help distract kids, and more to come,” Smith said.

The auxiliary has been raising funds for equipment and amenities for the hospital ever since it was built in the 1980s. The group most recently purchased virtual reality goggles as well as the mural in the Child and Family Ambulatory Unit at VGH. Fresh paint, lighting, cabinetry and privacy walls rounded out the latest upgrades thanks to that $150,000 auxiliary donation.

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