Why Selwyn Wong is leaving a legacy of health for Island kids

Legacy giving - Selwyn Wong-Island kids first - Children's health foundation of vancouver island

Over the past two extraordinary years, as the hectic pace of the world slowed, we’ve had time to reflect on what matters most to each of us. The importance of community and collective compassion has never been clearer.

There comes a point in our lives when we think about the type of world that we want to leave behind for our children and grandchildren. Perhaps you’re passionate about the idea of making your Island community a better place – even beyond your lifetime. Selwyn Wong certainly is. He’s passionate about making sure that all children have access to the essential health care they need. Because of this, he decided to leave a gift in his Will to the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Legacy giving is a heartfelt way to support the things you care about most, now and in the future. Thanks to the generosity of legacy donors like Selwyn, Children’s Health Foundation has been investing in the health of Island kids for 96 years, bringing essential health services closer to home and transforming the lives of children and youth living with physical and mental health challenges.

The region of Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands is vast and diverse. Children and youth living in rural and remote communities face greater barriers to accessing the care they need, so the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island focuses on solutions that bring care closer to home. “In a perfect world, I’d love to see no child ever needing medical or psychological or emotional assistance, but that’s never going to happen,” says Selwyn. “The next best thing is to make sure they’re taken care of wherever they are.”

Like many donors, Selwyn has grown his gifts as his personal circumstances have changed. As executor of his father’s estate in 2002, he encouraged mourners to donate to the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island in his father’s memory. A few years later, inspired by the construction of Jeneece Place, the Foundation’s home away from home next door to Victoria General Hospital, he became a monthly donor. “Families who have to leave their town and travel to receive medical care for their children. That’s tough,” he says. “It’s tough enough to have to receive those services, let alone have to worry about where I’m going to stay, where’s my family going to stay, or can I even bring my family along with me.”

Jeneece Place has served thousands of families since it opened in 2012 and Children’s Health Foundation recently opened a new home away from home adjacent to North Island Hospital in Campbell River. Qwalayu House opened last summer to support families on north Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands who must travel to Campbell River for pediatric and maternal health care.

Selwyn wants to carry forward his lifelong value of giving back to his community and feels that it is important to support children’s health. By leaving a legacy gift, he is confident that he’s helping to make the Island and surrounding islands a better place for generations of children to come. “If you love children, the last thing you want to do is see a child in any kind of pain, so you try to do anything you can to alleviate it.”

If offering a helping hand to Island kids and youth in need is a cause close to your heart, consider learning more about leaving a legacy for children’s health.

For more information about leaving a legacy gift for Island kids, you can contact our Leadership and Legacy Giving Manager at shelley.engelhardt@islandkidsfirst.com or 250-940-4950 x120.


Originally posted: Oct 29, 2020

Revised:  May 3, 2022