A Helping Hand for Humankind

According to Statistics Canada, "Canada’s ‘Baby Boomers’ account for 1/3 of the country’s 32 million people. This population will have a substantial impact on the country’s health care system, retirement homes and pension plan. There are now more seniors than ever - over 4.3 million. This is the first time in the history of Canada that there are more than four million people aged 65 or older.”

As our population ages and grows increasingly needful of quality care, The Grateful Heart Foundation will be there to extend a helping hand.

I elected this cause to honor my dear grandparents, Margaret and Cyril Doleman, who have influenced so much of who I am today. Children of the Depression, they taught me the value of earning and caring for every dollar - a lesson that’s taken many years to sink in. To treasure nature and savor life’s simple pleasures are other lessons they continue to teach me.

As the years have advanced, our roles have reversed somewhat, with me advising, caring for and advocating for them. In their honor, I would like to support care for the elderly to ensure their ‘golden years’ are enriched, joy-filled, safe and healthy. It is the least we can do as our Baby Boomers age, as this founding backbone of our society will need nurturing and care in unprecedented numbers.

A great deal of assistance is required to make certain the elderly live with dignity, independence and safety. I endorse Meals on Wheels as this very worthwhile program allowed my grandparents to enjoy their independence for as long as possible, while giving them, and their family, peace of mind. In 42 years, Meals on Wheels has never missed a scheduled meal delivery!

Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating for the individual as well the people that love and care for them. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that eventually affects all aspects of a person's life: how he or she thinks and acts. Since individuals are affected differently, it is difficult to predict the symptoms each person will have, the order in which they will appear, or the speed of the disease's progression. Along with loss of abilities, changes in behavior occur and gradually, independence disappears. Because by 2031, over three quarters of a million Canadians are expected to have Alzheimer's or a related disease*, it is important to take action now. (*Canadian Study of Health and Aging Working Group: Canadian Study of Health and Aging: study methods and prevalence of dementia. Can Med Assoc J 1994; 150: 899-913).

Care for Our Feathered and Four-Legged Neighbors

Given our broad dominion over animals (both domestic and wild) and the impact we have on their lives, I feel strongly that humans have an obligation to provide them with care and protection. The Grateful Heart Foundation therefore supports registered charities focused on animal welfare - the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) and Chinook Winds Greyhounds, for example.

As a donor-advised fund, The Grateful Heart Foundation is committed to ensuring that registered animal-welfare charities like as the ones mentioned above are supported. Every year I will, with the help of a small committee, carefully select the beneficiary charity. The succession plan in place for The Grateful Heart Foundation ensures this philosophy in perpetuity.


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