The Crossroads Hospice Society is reeling in, what was, a successful Hike for Hospice event last weekend.
Nearly 300 people endured the three-kilometre trek last Sunday (May 7) along Traboulay PoCo Trail and round-trip from the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre, walking in honour of loved ones that have had, or are currently receiving, end-of-life care in the Tri-Cities.
The weather was forgiving for the 21st annual event, and so was the generosity of local participants as the non-profit said more than $2,000 was raised on the spot.
This added to the ongoing fundraising goal of $50,000 for the month of May.
As of this publication (May 13), Crossroads is within four figures of that mark at nearly $41,000.
The money raised is earmarked for palliative care and grief support systems in the region.
"As the only Hospice that provides this type of service to the communities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra, [Hike for Hospice] allows us to raise much needed funds to keep our operations running," Crossroads spokesperson Brittany Chung explained to the Tri-City News.
"It also allows us to raise awareness of what we do and who we support. Many don't know this, but fundraising and revenue from our Thrift Store covers about half of our expenses for running the 10-bed hospice and Fraser Health covers the other half, so our services wouldn’t be possible without such strong community support."
But the job's not done yet.
Chung said, while funds raised through Hike for Hospice go a long way to helping the organization, there's still a bigger number Crossroads looks to every year: $700,000.
That total allows the non-profit to provide free bereavement series to those who have lost a loved one, as well as other key services, including homecooked meals, laundry, housekeeping, facility maintenance and volunteer programming.
Chung believes it's important to provide a welcoming, home-like environment for patients and their families.
"Exceeding our goal allows us to be flexible when unexpected expenses come up," she said.
"A surprise repair of a hospital bed or our air conditioning systems are a couple of examples of expenses that can be hard to predict.
"The money donated....stays in our community so that we can continue managing our facility and providing these important services."
Crossroads Hospice Society hosts more than 150 volunteers at its stand-alone facility — located at 2773 Barnet Hwy. — that officially opened in 1988, thrift store (2780 Barnet Hwy.), healing garden and a support centre for family members.
For more information, or if you wish to contribute to the cause, you can visit the Crossroads Hospice Society's website.