Friday, 29 June 2012

Last applicants and new sponsor announcement!

Well a troubling thing appears to be happening. We appear to be getting more applicants than we are going to have money. Our last applicants were definitely in dire straits.

One was a mother but her kids were grown. She used her 15 weeks of disability which is all you are entitled to. At that point unless you are declared terminal you have very little chance of receiving long term benefits. The option at this point is social services. Do you know what social services tells someone that worked their whole life to own a home to do? To sell your house and vehicle regardless of where you live or how old you are, then live off the money until it is gone and then come and ask for money.

My views and ideas on this are deep and many. Most are not good and may cross the line to advocacy which FFOH is not allowed to do. We do not want to risk our charity status by lobbying the government for changes. We do believe though that the more we talk about these things, the more the public will push for gradual and constructive change.

I see no reason to burn flags in the street. The best part of Canada is we can protest change. We can actually set up meetings with our MP's and MLA'S. Not a lot of countries in the world where you can phone up the leaders of the country, meet with them in their office, and have no fear of the police dragging you out of your bed in the night.

Back to the applicant. All we can do is keep the wolves from the door. Nothing fancy. Just keeping the lights on until she can go back to work. I wish we could do more. But for now...

We have got one fundraiser going as we speak for tickets to our quilt draw. We have another going on in the fall.

Speaking of that, we have an announcement to make.

Capital Hill as in Capital Ford and Capital GMC up by the North Superstore on Rochdale have signed on for a Gold sponsorship for the event this fall. They also donated two huge boxes of goodies for the silent auction. I am going to be looking for a new vehicle this fall and now I know where I am going shopping. Thanks Capital Hill. And a huge thanks to Shirley and Mark for putting it all together.

So for now, another reason to buy tickets to help us all out. And another reason to plan to come to the event on November 29, 2012.

And if you do decide to support a business that supports us, tell them. That is the best way to let them know that their sponsorship dollars are working.

Thanks for the reads and share everyone!

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Sorry about the delay folks.  My pesky real job has been getting in the way of my FFOH stuff. 

We had our AGM last Sunday.  We had a good turn out and we did make a change to our by laws.  We have increased the amount of people on our board because we had members who wanted to upgrade from the regular membership to the board.  This was amazing.  In the time when the volunteer scene is shrinking and boards are begging for help, FFOH is growing because our dedicated members want more responsibility. 

Forever Friends has, hands down, the most dedicated membership out there.  So we are now a board of eleven. Which is a good thing because we seem to get more ambitious every year. 

We have a few more pretty major fundraisers this year.  One is going on as we speak.  There are tickets available for the two quilts shown below.  The quilts were hand made by our supporters. 

 Denim Cancer Ribbon Quilt
Made by Linda Andrew from Qu'Appelle
Dream Quilt
Made by the Prairie Art and Leisure Stitchers
(Cheryl Waters, Susan Wittrup, Linda Wood, Lynne Woollam, Helen Strong, Linda Brumwell, & Gisele Pitrowski)
  Tickets are available from any member of the board as well as some of our members.  We also have the capability of selling on line now as well. If you go to our site and click on the paypal link you can pay for tickets for the quilt raffle or our casino night.  There is a spot that you can include a message to us.  Just add in what the donation is for and we will send you the appropriate tickets.  (We have got so technologically advanced lately!)

The tickets for the quilt draws are $2 each.  The tickets are $75 for the Saskatchewans Got Talent so I doubt there will be a mix up but just in case. 

We also decided on a direction for FFOH this year.  That direction is to encourage other groups of folks to help us fund raise.  We had another 4 applications at the meeting and are now having to limit the money we can give people.  This is not something I ever wanted to happen but I don't know how we can do it any other way.  So if you have a group of people that can throw your hat in for some help in your own community that would be great.  Dress down days, garage sales, wine parties with a donation in mind, anything you can think of. 

Sometimes plates for a month are $50 so it doesn't take much to really help someone.  $50 can buy plates for a vehicle for a woman with lung cancer so she can get to her appointments.  No amount of help is too small.  We thank people very much for continuing to think of us and help when they can.

So that is the direction for this year.  Find donations from other sources so we can give more away without burning out our board members. 

I will save the details about the applicants until my next blog so this one doesn't get too long.  Feel free to try out our paypal link we would love to see it in action. 

Thanks for the reads and shares everyone.  As usual the amount of support you all continue to give us is great.  Thanks for your time today!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lisa B and FFOH

I want to bring a great business to light with my blog here today.  Not many people know of this business because not everyone has had to use it but the folks that run it have come into my life at a time when I needed a breath of freshness.  They have been just what I needed. 

You see, a little over a year ago, we had an applicant that was living on abut 890.00 dollars per month.  She had repeated surgeries that continued to go deeper and deeper.  Part of her problem was a hole in her chest that remained after her first surgery for about two years.  This hole was infected and leaked pus and liquid for the entire time.  For two years.  The doctors could not clear it up and kept cutting deeper and deeper to try and fix it.  Eventually they did get that looked after.  Her surgeries were repeated, radical and very disfiguring.  The scaring was deep. 

In a situation like this a normal prosthetic doesn't work.  You can't just put a stuffed bra over a rib cage and go to a wedding.  

And this is when we at FFOH heard about Lisa B Originals.  The owners are Pam and Garry.  Very nice people that are kind and giving.  We spoke about the estimate they gave us about the prosthetic for our mutual client.  They explained the estimate for me and I am very glad they did.  The prosthetic cost 3800.00 dollars.  They had to make a prosthetic for this woman that went from her collar bone to the bottom of her rib cage and wrapped under her arms. 

My point in this description is that when women have breast cancer it doesn't mean they just lose a breast.  We have this vision of a woman with only one breast with a small scar in the straight line across the other side of her chest.  Geez what is all the complaining about right?  Imagine the damage done to this woman that required a prosthetic of this extent. 

They explained how the procedure worked.  Each prosthetic is custom made for the women.  They look and feel very human.  The prosthetics even have nipples.  And the best part is if you know you are set to have a breast removed they can take a mould of yours and build you the exact same boob or boobs you are set to lose right down to the nipples and veins.  They do this without ever seeing you naked. 

I seen an example of Garry's work in a bar in Regina.  We were at a meeting for stakeholders of breast cancer and a few of us went to get a bite to eat after the meeting.  Garry brought in a sample of his work and passed it around the table...oddly enough.  I remarked that it probably used to cost him a lot in drinks to end up in a bar with a boob in his hand but this was way easier.  (Sorry I have a tasteless sense of humor.) The boobs they build also stick to the skin with a special adhesive so you can actually move around with them on. 

I have included a link to their site so you can check them out.  And if you are in the area and need a boob...I mean other than the one you are married too, (see tasteless humor.  But you laughed didn't you?)  stop by the shop and let them help you out. 

They have also become huge helpers for FFOH.  They came to the auction and Garry let us auction him off as a server.  They also brought a table of women.  They are going to sell our quilt tickets and our night at the casino tickets.  Pam has a choir that is going to provide the back up music for the night at the casino event.  The amount of help and support they have given and continue to give is amazing.

Sask Health gave eight or nine hundred dollars for this prostetic.  We gave 2000.00.  Garry and Pam donated their time and money for the rest.  We helped to give this woman her dignity and confidence back. 

So well it is fresh in your mind, our AGM is Sunday at 2 PM at the Qu'Appelle library in Qu'Appelle.
We are going to decide on the decisions that will shape our year.  Decide on some new fundraising ideas and set the direction for our eleventh year.  Come out and lend an idea.  PS Coming to the meeting does not mean you will have to join the board or donate your time for the rest of the year.  This is just a meeting.  We would love to see you all there. 

Thanks for the reads today. 
Please share this one with your friends.  This is another direct example of the work we do. 

"To the world you may only be one person but to one person you may be their world. "

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Next Up! Tanya!

I know that I have been a little lax in my posting and I apoligize.  This is a pretty busy time of year in my real life so I have been focusing on keeping the lights on. 

I would like to introduce you to another of our board members, Tanya. 

Usually the women in our group have fairly varied taste.  We get our enjoyment from different things, do different things to pass our time.  Tanya is into the rodeo/barrel racing scene.  She barrel races, knows how to rope, and breaks her own horses.  She is about the toughest chick I know. 
She has other interests as well.  One of the more impressive things is a kids rodeo that she and a couple of friends put on each year.  This event helps to introduce kids to rodeo in a safe and very family friendly environment.  One of the things that most people don't know about rodeo is the family atmosphere that it operates in.  For example, at a barrel racing jackpot its nothing to see dads walking around with little babies in their arms, looking after the kids while mom makes her run.  If they actually follow the rodeo circuit, its common to see the whole family at each event.  Campers are just as important as horse trailers.  But at those events the kids have sheep to ride but not much else.  Tanya's kids rodeo give the kids the chance to do all of the things the kids watch their folks do all year.  This type of event is a huge undertaking and just one more example of the amazingly talented women I am surrounded with. 
She has a good job and has been with the company for a lot of years.  She is loyal as an employee and a friend.  She has a ton of stuff on the go and sometimes is hard to track down but that is all part of the juggling game we all play. 
She is also the member of the group who threatens ranch house justice.  More than once she has threatened to "nut" someone, to create minor acts of vandalism if needed, and basically be the muscle of the group.  However, when dealing with applicants, she is usually the first one with tears in her eyes. 

Her husband is also awesome!  He does what he's needed to to.  Somewhere I have a picture of him in an apron but I can't find it and that may be a sign that I shouldn't put it up.  But to all of the people that have seen it, it is a sight to behold. 
Tanya is a strong woman that I am proud to know.  I am very glad she is on my team. 
Thanks to all of you for the reads today.

This is also a reminder that June 10, is our AGM for Forever Friends.  It starts at 2 PM in the Qu'Appelle Library.  Everyone is very welcome and we would love to have lots of people there to help decide the future of Forever Friends and set our goals for the next year.  Please put the date in your calender and come if you can.