Why I give: Ian Wheatley shares why he donates time and money to Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island
Before Ian Wheatley took his young daughter, Gemma, to the 2016 Kaleidoscope Ball, he hadn’t heard of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. He knew he would have a great evening with his then-four-year-old daughter, but that event ended up having a lasting impression on him.
During that spring family gala in 2016, Ian and his daughter took photos on the red carpet, danced together, and enjoyed tasty food from the buffet. But the personal stories shared by the guest speakers – family members of Island kids living with health challenges – stuck with Ian. He was moved as he listened to those speeches, hearing Island kids’ stories and learning about the services donor dollars helped provide those kids.
“It was a really cool atmosphere, and for Gemma, it was a magical event to go to,” says Ian. “For me, I remember the speeches and hearing about what other people are going through…Hearing those personal stories is always powerful.”
Perhaps for Ian, this is because he and his wife Sue know what it’s like to care for a child with unique health challenges. Gemma was born with hydronephrosis; simply, that’s when the kidney swells because it is unable to drain properly. Her hydronephrosis was never a health emergency, but the condition does mean that Gemma requires annual check-ups and monitoring at the hospital. And taking Gemma to these check-ups in Vancouver is always eye-opening for Ian.
“There wasn’t a big concern health-wise with our daughter, but we saw lots of other parents who were in dire situations,” says Ian.
Ian, grateful for Gemma’s health and affected by other family stories, made his first donation to the Foundation after attending that spring gala in 2016. And in 2018, he decided to make his donation go even further.
That November, Dale Collins offered a matching gift for GivingTuesday. For every new monthly donor acquired before December 31, she would donate $100. Signing up was a no-brainer.
“I could see that my dollar would go further,” says Ian. “The goal is to keep the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island going in perpetuity, and one way to help ensure that happens is by continuously donating and having dollars the Foundation can always count on.”
But Ian doesn’t just donate dollars back to the Foundation. He also donates his time. As a Senior Associate with the Greenard Group at Scotia Wealth Management, Ian has a wealth of financial expertise and he shares his knowledge to help with the running of the Foundation. For more than a year now, Ian has shared his financial know-how with the Foundation by sitting on its FAIR (Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk) committee. Most recently, Ian joined the Foundation’s board of directors for the 2018/2019 year.
“The reason I donate my time is the same reason I donate money: I have an area of expertise and I think I can share that expertise and offer some help,” says Ian. “So why wouldn’t I?”
Ian also donates to show both his kids the value of philanthropy, so that in the future, they will give back as well. Ian is dedicated to giving back to the Foundation and is committed to helping all Island kids access the health care they need.
“We’re fortunate that we are able to give back,” says Ian. “And I think that if you can, then you absolutely should.”
Thanks to the generous help of donors like Ian, we can provide Island kids with the support they need. Consider making a donation today.