For Kimberly Payne, Executive Director of the South Huron Hospital Foundation, participating in the 2017 #ThankARetailer community contest was about more than just the $15,000 prize.
“It really gives our work exposure. As you’re encouraging people to vote, you’re helping them become more aware about what you’re doing. And the more they know, the more they support you,” she said.
For the past two years, fundraising has been underway for Jessica’s House, a residential hospice in Exeter, Ontario that will provide access to cancer support, suicide support services, palliative care and bereavement. So she was thrilled when Jeff Borland of Huron Perth Ag Service Inc. told Payne that his company had won ADAMA’s #ThankARetailer contest, and that Jessica’s House would be receiving the prize money.
“Everyone remembers the moment someone they love dies. It’s something we never forget,” Payne said. “Everybody in this community will be touched by Jessica’s House in one way or another.”
By the end of 2017, Payne expects to have raised $3.4 million in mostly community donations — no small feat for a little town of just 4,500 people. So for the people of Exeter, receiving money from an outside organization was incredibly valuable.
“That money wasn’t here before,” she said. “So what ADAMA did for us was powerful. It took the burden off of our community.”
The hospice broke ground this past July, and is making great progress thanks to an outpouring of support from community members.
“We’ve had two roofing companies contact us to donate time and materials. Four landscaping companies have donated their time. The windows are being put in by volunteers,” Payne said. “There are so many examples of the community coming together, all in support of Jessica’s House.”
In addition to a fully-built house, the Board of Jessica’s House will have enough funding to support three years’ worth of operating costs.
“This really is all thanks to the power of community,” said Payne.
Jessica’s House is slated for completion in spring of 2018.