With the holiday season right around the corner, Healthy Kimberley is reminding residents about their options to ‘give health’ and participate in Giving Tuesday.
Dr. Ilona Hale of Healthy Kimberley described Giving Tuesday as a celebration of giving and volunteering which comes each year after Black Friday.
“It’s a time for charities, businesses and individuals to remember the giving spirit of the season and to take concrete actions to bring us closer to the ideals of peace and good will in the world that we all talk about during this season,” said Hale.
The website givingtuesday.ca says that Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering on the “opening day of the giving season”.
In the same way that retailers and shoppers take part in Black Friday sales and deals, communities are encouraged to also participate in Giving Tuesday.
Hale says that it’s important to remember those that are not able to count good health as one of their blessings and to consider them this Giving Tuesday, and all holiday season long.
“The holiday season is a time to think about giving, sharing, and being grateful for all that we have – family friends and good health,” said Hale. “But many people in our community, suffering from physical or mental health problems that can have a significant impact on their quality of life, are not able to count good health as one of their blessings.
“Anyone who has experienced illness, themselves or with someone they love, would probably agree that it would be a great gift to be able to prevent these health problems. Yet only three per cent of government health budgets are dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention – 97 per cent of our health taxes go to curing illness after we are already sick.”
She says that Healthy Kimberley’s main objective is to work in the opposite way and prevent illness from the get-go.
“Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choise,” said Hale. “We believe that most people would prefer to avoid illness if they could, but we realize in today’s society, it’s often difficult to do the things we know we should be doing for our health.”
She says that ensuring you are eating nutritious, whole foods is important, but it can often be expensive and time consuming compared to packaged, convenience foods. The same goes for healthy activities, sometimes they can be inaccessible and costly.
“Preventing chronic diseases calls for a system overhaul on a societal level, not just focusing on individuals and telling them over and over again what they already know, but practically just aren’t able to do,” Hale explained.
She adds that Healthy Kimberley programs work to remove those barriers, making it easier to do the things one wants and needs to do for their health.
Some of those programs include the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot, the Playbox at Rotary Park, the new outdoor multi-sport court at Selkirk and the Kimberley Adventure Playground.
Another initiative of Healthy Kimberley’s aims to raise awareness around what they call “physical literacy”, through their PLAY Kimberley program.
“Our PLAY Kimberley initiative is working with parents, schools, coaches and recreation programs to raise awareness and capacity to value and support physical literacy – the confidence, competence and motivation to be active for life,” said Hale. “PLAY Kimberley aims to support the health, recreation, education, and sport sectors in putting a greater emphasis on playful, varied, age-appropriate, inclusive and accessible active opportunities for everyone.”
She says that in a few short years, Healthy Kimberley has grown into a thriving organization with an active board, contractors and many volunteers.
“Our very special community with its uniquely health-focused culture has made this all possible,” said Hale.
Of course, Healthy Kimberley’s success wouldn’t be possible without the support and commitment of various partnerships and funders as well.
Going forward, Hale says that Healthy Kimberley has many plans for projects to involve seniors and schools, among others.
She encourages the community to get involved and share project ideas by contacting Healthy Kimberley at email@example.com, or 250-427-4300.
If you’re looking for a way to get involved with Giving Tuesday and “give the gift of health”, you can make a tax-deductable donation as a gift for someone this holiday season.
One way is through Healthy Kimberley’s partnership with Canada Helps. Another way is to donate directly to Healthy Kimberley’s programming. For more information, contact Healthy Kimberley, visit their Facebook page, or check out their website at healthykimberley.weebly.com.