Camp Stepping Stones, our regional children’s grief camp, celebrated a very sweet and most generous donation this year. Every child attending camp received a very special teddy bear from Interlake-based business, Little Elska, a total in-kind donation of $3,000! The bears were patiently waiting for the campers on their bunks as they arrived on their first afternoon at Camp Arnes.
Little Elska is a home-based business owned and operated by Jackie Horvat out of Arborg, Manitoba. They specialize in hand-made products such as personalized blankets, back packs, stuffed animals and a wide assortment of personalized items that can be customized for each customer in a special way, with your child’s name, birth-date etc.
When Jackie heard about Camp Stepping Stones, she knew she had to contribute in some way. “A friend of mine mentioned Camp Stepping Stones and I knew right away this was something we wanted to donate to. There are so many reasons why everyone should give more hugs, and we were so proud to provide each camper with their own bear to hug, and have as a special keepsake.”
Tammie-Lee Rogowski, Clinical Team Manager Palliative Care, Home Care Nursing Services and Regional Wound Care Program who oversees camp was overjoyed when Jackie reached out regarding the donation. “It was very meaningful for the children to arrive at camp and find their personal bear waiting for them on their bunk. Even more special for the children was writing the name of the loved one they had lost over the heart of their bear.”
According to the camp’s volunteer liaison, Sandra Milotte, over the course of the weekend, the bears provided comfort to the children and acted as a bridge to share their feelings and experiences with other campers. “Their bear companions accompanied them on all camp activities and acted as a memory of their camp experience when they went home.”
Pamela McCallum, executive director of the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation, said donation like this really pull on the heart strings because of the lasting impact it has on the kids.
“Camp Stepping Stones is an annual grief camp that the Interlake-Eastern RHA runs for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one in their life. The added touch of a personalized teddy bear that they can have and hold during their camp experience creates a really sweet memory for them,” McCallum said.
This is another great example of community giving coordinated through the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation (IEHF). For more information on this and other examples of our region’s incredible generosity, contact Pamela McCallum at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the IEHF on Facebook or their website at http://www.iehf.ca/
Photo L to R: Jackie Horvat, Kylie Horvat, and Sandra Milotte Volunteer Coordinator/ Community Liaison, Palliative Care