My philanthropic journey with Providence Healthcare began many years ago when I joined Providence Healthcare’s Board of Directors. Sister Roberta Freeman was president of the organization at that time. I served as a Director for more than eight years until 1995. After serving my term, I decided to join forces with a very dear friend who asked me to help him look into initiatives that would raise much-needed funds for the Hospital. The idea was born to host an exclusive golf tournament in support of the patients, residents and clients at Providence. The format we chose had never been done before. With a few more good friends and colleagues by my side, the Providence Golf Committee was created - with the sole purpose of organizing an all-inclusive golf experience for players to enjoy. And we did just that! The Providence Golf Classic was born that year. It was unique in design and soon became one of the best tournaments in the city! We proudly sold out in the first year…and every year after that. And so began our great success story!
Over the years, my involvement with Providence has never dwindled. Year after year, I play in the PGC event with my sons, and have held two foursome spots to show my support of Providence. I have attended and raised money for the various fundraising functions, and have been fortunate to be able to give back to my community. In addition to participating in Providence’s golf event, my family has attended the Silver Ball and the Cuisine & Cuvée food and wine events on several occasions. I have also reached out to various business contacts to spread the word and show my support for Providence. In fact, I recently pledged $100,000 in support of the Hope Starts Here campaign. It’s such a great initiative!
Providence has and always will hold a special place in my heart. Please consider giving your support to help them!
My mother, Josephine (Josie) O’Reilly, was admitted to Providence Healthcare’s Palliative Care Unit in the fall of 1996. The staff and volunteers not only provided a caring and comforting environment for my mother during her last days of life, but they also took care of me and my family as we came to terms with the reality of our impending loss.
During that time, my family practically lived at Providence. We forged many wonderful relationships with the staff and volunteers who cared for my mother (and us!). After her passing, one volunteer approached me and asked if I might consider volunteering at Providence, given the need for men in the volunteer ranks. I told him that I wasn’t sure I had the capacity to give as he and his colleagues had to me and my family. It was incredible to me to realize just how special and valued their services are at Providence.
In lieu of taking on a volunteer support role, I decided to organize an annual fund-raising event called the O’Reilly Bonspiel for Providence through my curling club. I am proud to say that the Bonspiel is approaching its 20th year of support. My family, the players, sponsors and donors will continue to help meet the urgent needs of Providence Healthcare for as long as we can. We are currently raising funds for the newly defined Palliative Care program for Providence’s Hope Starts Here campaign. My mother would be so proud.
It gives me (and my family) a great feeling of satisfaction to be able to help. Showing our support and commitment to Providence is my family’s small way of giving back because of the love and exceptional care that was provided to us when we desperately needed it most.
In loving memory of Josie…
It was a difficult day when my family learned my grandfather Alfaruk Baksh was to be admitted into the Palliative Care Unit at Providence Healthcare. At first, you deal with what it means to have a loved one in palliative care. My family had lots of questions and were living day to day. But the staff and the other patients and their families at Providence were like our anchors, helping us prepare ourselves for the journey ahead and the necessary arrangements involving his care.
My grandmother had been taking care of my grandfather for over 66 years, and of course, both of them were only comfortable with the other as caregiver. We were so thankful that my grandmother trusted the nurses and staff at Providence to care for him in her place. The staff didn’t just meet his needs: they went above and beyond what was expected to make my grandfather feel comfortable and respected.
I will always hold one very special memory in my heart - the day I was able to fulfill a special wish to my grandfather at Providence. I was given the chance to dance for him in the solarium in the Palliative Care Unit. It was the first time I officially performed live. I invited other patients and families to watch my Bollywood performance. It was my way of giving back to others and lifting their spirits. And every time I think about that incredible day, I think of how grateful I am to Providence for giving that moment of joy to my Papa (and my family). I will never forget!
When you hear "Providence supports families", it’s hard to understand what that really means. There is so much contained in that one statement. Having spent time at Providence during those final days of my grandfather’s life, the nurses became our friends, and the staff became our supporters and a shoulder to cry on when it was needed most. My entire family is forever thankful to Providence. We will always have a connection to this special place because of the relationships that we made and the wonderful and compassionate care that was given.
We would love to hear about how Providence made a difference in your life, or the life of a loved one. If you have any questions, please contact jennifer Spencer at email@example.com or call 416-285-3666 ext.4032. Thank you for sharing your story!