From Egypt to Falkland Islands, and back to Toronto, Jean has traveled all over the world—all while sporting her bright red or gold cape.
Jean, who is a board member at Holland Bloorview Foundation, has been a Capes for Kids superhero every year since the campaign began. And while she has her eyes on becoming one of the top 10 fundraisers again this year, Jean is also on a big mission to spark important conversations about Holland Bloorview’s innovative programs, research and services.
We chatted with Jean about her epic travels and the excitement of being a top fundraiser.
Why are you wearing your cape this year?
Jean: It’s a fun campaign. And I think every year, we’re helping more people become aware of the hospital and the kids and families we serve.
Your cape has traveled all over the world! Has it ever sparked interesting conversations?
Jean: It starts the conversation about, “What is Holland Bloorview? Tell me more about the hospital, your role at the hospital or the programs the hospital has.” People are just really pleased to be able to support the work and help create a world of possibilities for the kids to thrive. They like the fact that we’re emphasizing the strengths of our kids.
Why is Capes for Kids important?
Jean: It raises awareness. I think wearing a cape is a very, very visible way of sparking a conversation. People are involved in doing this at the workplace. Their work colleagues ask, “Why are you wearing a cape? Can you tell me a little bit more about it?” It’s great to start those conversations and then get people more engaged and learning about the amazing work at the hospital.
In addition to the conversations that the campaign sparks, one of the goals of Capes for Kids is also to support the research, programs and services at Holland Bloorview. Why is that important?
Jean: Capes for Kids has really succeeded in reaching donors that are new to Holland Bloorview. Many of the programs at Holland Bloorview would, frankly, not exist if it wasn’t for the generosity of donors. We were very successful in the Bloorview Research Institute campaign and we need to continue to raise money to have the kinds of programs, services and research that makes Holland Bloorview the very special and outstanding hospital that it is.
As a Capes for Kids fundraiser in the past, you made it to the top 10 leader board! How did that feel?
Jean: It’s always fun to have that spirit of competition among the board of directors. The fundraisers on both the hospital board and the foundation board are absolutely incredible. It is fun to do what I can to at least make sure that I am in the top 10. I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to achieve that this year as well, because I know that we’ve got an ambitious target of $1 million for the campaign.
Do you do you have any other goals as a fundraiser this year?
Jean: The pandemic has been so hard on everyone. It’s been particularly challenging for people in health care, but also of course, the clients and the families that we serve. I’m hoping to have conversations with people about how vital it is to continue to support Holland Bloorview so that we can offer the services that really make a difference in the lives of the kids. We really need their support more than ever.