Thursday, 29 December 2011


I want to make one thing very clear. We are not a political organization. I do not want to alienate any group or organization. My goal has always been to have a group that everyone can find a welcome spot in. What I want everyone to come away with is the idea that we should support what we believe in. We should not support something because we feel guilted into it. We should know where our dollars go. We should also hold organizations responsible for what they do with the money donated.

All the organizations are good causes. People start these type of organizatons with the best possible intentions. They are continued with good people that work everyday to advance an organization. They do different things in different ways. I am asking you today to think about supporting organizations that do what you want to be part of.

Sask cancer society has over 1.7 million in their pension reserve fund. I don't think the employees of the Sask. Cancer Society should work their whole lives and not have a pension. I also know that some of this money is their own contribution. But just know when you donate that some of your dollars go to this.

This is the page that shows their limits for support. For a four person house hold the support is limited to families that make under 35,573 dollars per year. That is about a years work at about 17 dollars an hour for one person. People are then limited to 1500.00 per person per year.

They have over 11 million dollars in assets. Just Saskatchewan. Not all of Canada, just here.
This is a link to the Saskatchewan Cancer society financial statements for the year ending Jan. 31, 2011.

It may appear as though I am picking on the Sask. Cancer Society but that is not my intent. They were in the news this year bargaining for a new contract. It simply moved them to the forefront of my mind. They do good work. The people I have worked with there really do care about what they are doing. I am simply using them as an example. Every organization has financial audits. Look them up. Ask questions. Know where your dollars go. As with everything knowledge is power.

Support what you believe in.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Our Continued Path

Our Logo.
Our auction started as a small event.  An idea from one of our first members.  We wrote a few letters and got a few donations.  I think about 35-40 people came to the first one.  It went well.  It was fun.  We donated the money to the CIBC Run for the cure.  And the auction was born as a yearly event. 

Except it grew.  Each year it grew bigger and better.  We out grew our first venue and moved to the hall.  I will be forever grateful for the support that came from the whole town of Qu'Appelle.  They show up every year, they donate and they help spread the word of what we do.  As we grow so does our support.  It is amazing to see.

Each year I have spoke at our event.  I have been president for almost the whole of FFOH existence.  So each year they let me talk.  And each year it takes my breath away when I look out and see all of the women that come and help us.

Now we have to cap our ticket sales at 160 women.  Our first auction raised about 3000.00 dollars.  Our last auction raised 18000.00 dollars.  We get many volunteers to help us make the work lighter.
People put their faith in us to do what we do for others.  It is an honor.

Thanks, today, for the read.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Journey

We began with a group of women that also knew my friend. 

Her daughter danced to the music at her funeral.  The vision of that creeps into my mind still.  She crawled on my lap until my tears scared her away.  The grief tied us all together like a ribbon.  After the first run we participated in the year we lost her, we gathered after with wine and toasted her.  "The joy of knowing her was worth the pain of losing her."  We repeated the toast this year, the tenth year after losing her.  Except this year we passed the words around on facebook, in text and under our breath at her grave.  Each in our own way. 

As time passed the ribbon loosened its hold on us.  Time does not heal all wounds.  It depends on what you do with the time.  That's what Dr. Phil says and in this case, I believe him.  Some of us continued on with Forever Friends and some of us moved on to other things.  But whatever our decision it didn't change the feeling of being bonded to each other by an invisible force.  A shared loss that became part of who we were. 

Now the board of FFOH has only a few members that knew and loved her.  But I think she would be very proud of what came about because of her.  Not everyone can leave this world changing the lives of so many others.  That takes an angel. 

Thank-you for your time today!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Introducing Forever Friends of Hope

Forever Friends of Hope Foundation Incorporated is a registered charity in Saskatchewan that has been operating for ten years.  We started after a friend passed away from cancer.  I would like to introduce you to us and what we do.  We are in the process of planning our biggest fund raising year ever.  I would love you to follow us along.

We started in 2002.  My friend passed away in September.  Her kids were just a little older than mine, about six and three.  We were looking for something to do, actually do so that our hands were as busy as our hearts.  We joined the Breast Cancer Action Saskatchewan run that year.  That run has now become the CIBC Run for the Cure.  We did that for three years.  We set up a non profit organization.  We fund raised, started our auction and tried to make a difference.

On the third year of raising upwards to twenty thousand dollars per year for the CIBC Run for the Cure.  We lined up for our team picture and the photographer said "Say Money!"  and I was done.  I started thinking about all of the stories we had heard over the years.  Horrible stories of people with no prosthetics because they have no money.  Did you know that a woman's spine will curve to the point where it is visible to the naked eye within one year if she doesn't have the right prosthetic.  Stories of people being declared terminal and cashing in their life insurance policies to catch up on the bills before they died.  Stories of people losing their houses because they can't work.  All of these stories added up to a new idea for FFOH.  A new direction.

Research is fantastic.  It has saved thousands of lives and changed the way we treat cancer and the people with cancer.  However it is also a huge industry.  Funded by donation dollars it is an organism all its own.  It is run by people who's jobs count on not finding a cure.  I am also not saying these people don't have the purest of intentions because I am sure they do.  I am saying that there are many sides to the cancer fight.  It can not be fought only on the research front.  It also has to be fought in peoples homes. 

The new direction for FFOH was helping people directly.  We changed to a registered charity.  We started helping with only breast cancer.  My worst fear has always been saying no to people because we ran out of money.  We then began to find out that the circle is very hard to break into.  Because there is an actual fight over fund raising dollars there are a lot of restrictions on who is allowed into the circle.  But that is for another blog. 

We decided to help with bills, prosthetics and wigs.  We wanted to help with peoples lives.  Day to day expenses that cause people so much stress.  Money is no big deal when you have some.  It is a huge deal when you have none.   Our hope is that when you take away some of the financial stress, people can focus on getting better. 

We have no paid employees.  We have no building or office space.  We have a free email account.   I have a great boss that doesn't mind when I talk to our clients while I am at work.  We have a board of nine women and a membership of many more. 

Our tenth year is set to be our best yet. 

Thank-you for spending your time with me today.