You can help make the holidays a bit more merry and bright for clients in the Tertiary Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) program at Willow Pavilion by supporting The Giving Tree campaign.
A former recipient says, "It was such a surprise! I had a gift for Christmas. I never expected it. It made me happy that people thought of me."
The Giving Tree campaign partners with the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Gift Shop to pair willing donors with up to 120 Willow residents, ranging in age from 18 to 99 years old, so that everyone receives at least one present.
The VGH Gift Shop displays trees decorated with gift tags that list recipients' names and wish list items. Donors select a tag and the gift shop provides and delivers the chosen gift. Frequently requested gifts include simple items like socks and bath products.
Visitors, staff and any other interested donors are invited to participate.
“These gifts are a symbol of caring," says Sharon Marmion, Patient Services Manager, Willow Pavilion Tertiary MHSU and Electroconvulsive Therapy Program.
“In past years, clients have shared that they really helped to brighten their day. In my experience, it is a small act of kindness that goes a very long way," she adds.
Besides bringing some joy to those in need, MHSU and VGH Gift Shop staff and volunteers hope The Giving Tree campaign will also raise awareness about Tertiary Mental Health Services at Vancouver Coastal Health. These services provide specialized care to meet the needs of individuals with serious and persistent mental illness.
For those who can't drop by the VGH Gift Shop in person, staff and well-wishers from the public can donate online, and the MHSU team will make a purchase on your behalf. You can also call the gift shop at 604-875-5895 or email them at email@example.com and they'll pick items for you.
Thank you for helping to bring some holiday cheer to those in our care.