The Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna and Interior Health host a Christmas Celebration for participants of their programs and services.
The aim is to provide a warm and welcoming environment, a nutritious holiday meal, and a gift for each of the nearly 200 guests. For many, this is the only celebration they will have this year.
To put the event on requires a signficant fundraising effort and this year $5,010 was raised – surpassing the $4,500 target.
“The spirit of giving is definitely alive in Kelowna,” said Alison Kyte, Wellness Programs and Education Manager at CMHA Kelowna.
“In addition to the generous donations we received, we had many amazing volunteers.”
The meal, a turkey dinner with all the fixings, was prepared by CMHA’s Kitchen Connections participants and served by a large team of smiling volunteers.
Another highlight was a visit by Anne McClymont Elementary’s grade six students, who serenaded attendees with holiday songs and then distributed handmade cards to every guest.
“Having the kids at the party made the experience event better,” said one participant. “The thoughtful message that one of the students wrote in my card was exactly what I needed.”
For anyone else who finds the holidays a little stressful, CMHA Kelowna has provided some practical tips and reminders at www.cmhakelowna.com/holidayblues
The CMHA Kelowna Branch is a charity that promotes the mental health of all through community-based programs and services, public education, advocacy and research. It is part of a network of more than 10,000 CMHA volunteers and staff in over 135 communities across Canada.