A Philosophy of Giving for National Philanthropy Day

Helping others in need is good medicine for everyone. With the arrival of National Philanthropy Day on November 15, 2018, it is a time to reflect on how philanthropy can make a real difference in people’s lives.

Pearl holding MacKid Isabella

Pearl Veenema, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, with MacKid Isabella and a rendering of Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. The Foundation supported the purchase of essential equipment at the Centre which benefits patients like Isabella.

“Philanthropy is extremely important because it provides an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and serve a higher purpose,” says Pearl Veenema, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.

Inspired to give back

Pearl’s commitment to philanthropy began at a young age when she dreamed about becoming a nurse.

“During childhood, my grandmother inspired me to be thankful in life and to give in the service of others,” says Pearl. “She came from a background of modest means, yet she was always committed to giving back in her community. Her example was a major influence, both in my personal life and my choice of career.”

Pearl enjoyed her years working as a nurse and patient advocate before transitioning to the charitable sector, which allowed her to live her personal philosophy of philanthropy.

“Philanthropy fills the gap of what the government is unable to provide to those in need across our society, helping families and neighbours when they need it most,” says Pearl.

Enabling health care excellence

When it comes to supporting health care excellence in the region, even the smallest of gifts can have lasting effects throughout the year. Donor support enables Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation to enhance the patient experience at Hamilton Health Sciences, which provides care for patients and families from across the region.

“One of our greatest joys as a Foundation team is partnering with our extended hospital family and working together to make health care excellence a reality.”

“At The Foundation, we have the opportunity to enable the purchase of medical equipment, redevelop clinical spaces, support the next generation of health care professionals through continuing education and foster important medical research.”

Working together

Pearl is grateful for the dedication of physicians and staff at Hamilton Health Sciences, who share her commitment to philanthropy.

“Their support throughout the year, both volunteering and fundraising, is truly inspiring.  It is great to see them at events such as Strides For The General, Illuminight and MacKids Walk & Wheel or partnering on campaigns such as Tomorrow Stems From You, the Hybrid Operating Suite, or Wellness Courtyard. One of our greatest joys as a Foundation team is partnering with our extended hospital family and working together to make health care excellence a reality.”

A philosophy of giving

Although National Philanthropy Day comes only once a year, Pearl encourages everyone to keep that spirit of philanthropy all year long.

“For me, philanthropy is about much more than just fundraising to buy equipment,” she says. “It’s about helping patients and families, and making sure that the teams at Hamilton Health Sciences have the tools and physical environment they need to do their best work.”