Bryan Thomson: GivingTuesdayNow
Bryan Thomson has been a generous donor and volunteer board member with Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island since 2015. As a long-time advocate for child and youth mental health supports, Bryan was inspired to extend his pledge to the Foundation to offer a matching gift for #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of giving and unity taking place on May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.
To help rally the community to come together and raise funds for this important cause, Bryan has generously stepped forward to contribute a matching gift of $5,000 to kick-off the Foundation’s #GivingTuesdayNow campaign. Save the date and help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 by taking part here.
Read Bryan’s story below to learn why he loves being a volunteer and donor, and why he was inspired to step up and help some of the most vulnerable members of our community during this unprecedented time.
Bryan Thomson has been a champion for the health of every Island family since he became involved with the Children’s Health Foundation in 2015. Bryan originally joined the Foundation as a member of the Finance committee, but when he was presented with an opportunity to take on a more formal role with the board just a few months later, he jumped at the chance to get more involved.
“I have always liked to support organizations with a focus on children and youth. I have donated money to various causes, but I was really looking for an opportunity to devote some of my time as well. This seemed like the perfect fit,” says Bryan.
During his time with the Foundation, Bryan has become a strong advocate for helping Island families access essential health care. In particular, he is passionate about supporting programs that connect children and youth with mental health resources, such as Foundry Victoria and NEED2: Suicide Prevention, Education & Support.
“Over the last few years, mental health is an issue that has really come to the forefront. The need has always been there, but it has not always been emphasized due to the stigma surrounding it,” says Bryan.
Currently, one in five youth is living with a mental health or substance use issue, yet fewer than 20% of youth are getting the support they need.
“I have seen first-hand that by putting resources into programming, you can make a meaningful impact on young people’s lives and get them back on track,” says Bryan.
“At one of the Foundation events last year, I had the opportunity to listen to a young woman named Zoe, who talked about her mental health journey. When you hear where she started and how far she has come, you can’t help but feel inspired to give,” he said.
Recognizing the critical need for additional mental health funding, Bryan pledged a five-year gift of $25,000, which helps numerous organizations across the Island who provide mental health programs for children and youth. When Bryan heard about the Foundation’s #GivingTuesdayNow campaign, he decided to extend his commitment and provide a matching gift of $5,000 to support the additional need for mental health resources during this extraordinary time.
“One of the biggest components in our response to mitigate COVID-19 is self-isolation. Many of the programs created to address mental health are services that require you to seek help in-person. While we already know there is a significant demand for these services, we have already witnessed an increase in need for support during this time of heightened anxiety,” said Bryan.
With an incredible network of programs that are supported by the Foundation up and down the Island, Bryan feels these connections will allow the Foundation to allocate resources quickly and respond where they are needed the most.
Bryan is matching all gifts that come in on #GivingTuesdayNow up to $5,000 in hopes the Foundation can reach its $10,000 goal.
In doing this, Bryan hopes to encourage more people to give back and make a difference in the lives of Island kids and youth during this time of need.
“Organizations are going to require immediate resources to adapt their programming through the use of technology to be able to respond to the demand for mental health resources during this time of social distancing. They will also need significant resources to respond to the bottleneck of demand when this crisis is over.”
Thanks to Bryan’s contribution, donors who make a gift on #GivingTuesdayNow can amplify their impact, with funds being matched dollar for dollar.
At Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, we know that every gift counts, no matter how big or small. Double your impact by making a gift on May 5 to support Island kids, youth, and families living with mental health challenges.