Message from the Board Chair

As I write this, Wood’s Homes is already nearing the end of its centennial year. However it is my job here to report on how the Wood’s Homes Foundation fared in supporting Wood’s Homes in its 99th year of service.

The mission of the Wood’s Homes Foundation is to passionately promote Wood’s Homes and its unique child, youth and family mental health services by providing a dependable, long-term and sustainable pool of resources.

I am pleased to announce that 2013 was indeed a successful year for the Foundation.  There was a lot to accomplish – the NEVER Give Up Capital Campaign, events to execute, the world of social networking, volunteers to co-ordinate and, of course, work with our steadfast donors and new friends to bring into the Wood’s Homes family.

The NEVER Give Up Capital Campaign made great progress in 2013. The original goal was to raise $10 million in support of the Bowness Campus Revitalization and the Wood’s Homes Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health.

The generosity of the community - corporately and individually - towards this goal has been unbelievable!  Vermilion Energy Inc., donated $1 million to establish The Vermilion Energy Family Centre. This is the largest, single corporate gift in the history of Wood's Homes and the Family Centre will truly change the face of how family-centred care is delivered at Wood's Homes.

We were grateful to Canadian Oilsands Ltd., for stepping up and donating $500,000 very early on to become the Founding Chair Partner in our Research Chair project. The Research Chair, a joint project with the University of Calgary's Faculty of Social Work, will be the first community-based Research Chair in Children's Mental Health in Canada. This project will truly add value and build capacity in the field of social work for years to come. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our Capital Campaign Cabinet, we closed 2013 within $700,000 of reaching our goal. We feel confident that the support of our good friends will bring us across the finish line in 2014. For more information on the NEVER Give Up Capital Campaign, please click here.

We saw corporate donors not only give of their treasure but also of their time. For example, more than 100 Vermilion employees rolled up their sleeves and got to work at the Bowness Campus - laying sod, painting, planting flowers and so much else. When corporations elect to volunteer, it is known as a 'Day of Caring'. Thank you to all of our corporate donors for their Days of Caring - we are so thankful for your hard work and support.  

2013 was a great year for events. Where to start? Our signature events – The Wood’s Homes Annual Golf Tournament and the Calgary Children’s Benefit Dinner outdid themselves. The momentum of support at these events was fantastic. Together, more than $450,000 was raised.  

As well, $85,000 was raised through the efforts of others who decided to support Wood’s Homes by hosting their own special event. I think this is remarkable, and I know that we are all very grateful to those who make these events possible.  A heartfelt thank you from the Foundation to each and every one of you.

Now, for the numbers: The Foundation received more than $2.5 million in donations in 2013. This is an increase of 15% over the year prior. This was done with a staff of four people and an army of volunteers. We are so grateful to all of our donors for supporting the work of Wood’s Homes. These funds are critical to maintaining the mission: ‘We Never Say No. We Never Give Up. We Never Turn Anyone Away.’

At a time when we are seeing more at-risk children and families in need than ever before, it is imperative that we are able to keep the doors open for those who need it most.  It is critical to the future of so many children, youth and families, not only in this city and province, but in this country, that the Wood’s Homes Foundation continues to be successful in supporting the work of this agency. Not just for 2013, not just for the centennial year, but for all of the years to come. 

One last look at 2013 leaves me feeling like I wish, in this limited space, that I could capture all of the voices that truly constitute the Wood’s Homes Foundation – our donors, our team, our Board and committee members, our volunteers, and of course the youth and families who benefit from our work. All have a story to tell about 2013 and what the work of the Foundation meant for them.  All have a wish for the future of Wood’s Homes – for the centennial year and beyond.

When I think of all of these voices and recollect on experiences – like the quiet reflection of a donor who toured our Bowness campus for the first time, or the pure energy of our volunteers on Stephen Avenue Mall during Children’s Mental Health Day - engaging in a riotous game of catch with passersby, some of whom shouted “Thank you Wood’s Homes” – I feel like I know one thing.  The Wood’s Homes Foundation is much more than the numbers represented in this Annual Report. It will always be more than the sum of its parts due to the tremendous will and support of all of those who passionately promote Wood’s Homes in their own way. This is what makes the difference. This is what makes us successful. This is what will take us into the future.

Thank you for being a voice for Wood’s Homes. Thank you for your support.

Respectfully submitted –

Heather Heasman

Heather Heasman