GivingTuesday may officially kick off on Nov. 27, but one anonymous donor got a head start, promising to match donations made to Victoria Hospice dollar for dollar until the end of Tuesday.
On Nov. 20, the palliative care charity announced any donations made until GivingTuesday would be matched up to $50,000 — meaning they have the opportunity to raise $100,000 in a week.
“We had a donor approached us. They wanted to do something special in honour of a friend whose wife died with support from Victoria Hospice,” Tom Arnold, the director of fund development for Victoria Hospice, said.
While Victoria Hospice has received donations of a similar size before, large donations are usually bequeathed after the donor has passed away.
“For someone to make a gift of this size during their lifetime is a tremendously generous act,” he said.
So far the hospice has received $9,000 with more donations coming in by mail, and the charity is hopeful they will meet the $50,000 target.
“The big thing about Victoria Hospice is it’s not about flashy equipment or anything like that — it’s about time. Providing time for nurses and counsellors and spiritual care coordinators to provide support to patients and families in a vulnerable moment in their lives. And to allow them to make the most of the time they have,” Arnold said. “With every gift that we receive, it means another patient and another family that we’re able to help.”
GivingTuesday began in Canada five years ago. As a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday reminds shoppers to give back. This is the first year Victoria Hospice has taken part of GivingTuesday, but the time couldn’t be any better Arnold said.
“As the holidays approach, it’s a really difficult time for patients and families. When everyone you meet is saying ‘Be happy, be joyous,’ if you’re facing end-of-life or you recently had a loved one who’s died, that can be very difficult to navigate the feelings and the grief around that,” he said. “The money that’s given right now will allow Victoria Hospice to help people in those difficult times and just provide a little ray of light to people who are struggling this holiday season.”
Donations can be made year-round — and matched until Nov. 27 — at victoriahospice.org/giving-tuesday-match.