Spirit of Giving


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10 reasons we love our donors

Happy Valentine’s Day! Donors are an essential part of making the IWK the centre of excellence that it is today. We are so thankful for their love and generosity! This Valentine’s Day, our staff members at the IWK Foundation wanted to let our supporters know exactly why we love them. 

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10 reasons why we love our donors.

1 – I love the passion so many of our donors have for the IWK. They are fiercely dedicated to the cause and they understand the direct impact their giving has on patients and staff.  It’s a beautiful thing! ~ Carla Adams, Principal Communications Strategist

2 Our donors provide more than money – they give passion, energy, and expertise! ~ Molly Cotter, Director of Finances and Donor Services

3 – They  not only give, they can go above and beyond, volunteering their time and efforts beyond the financial. They’re so happy to give to total strangers! It really is inspiring. ~ Christie Moore, Major Gifts Officer

4 – I love our donors because they help the staff at the IWK make miracles happen! – Lynda Moffatt,  Development Officer – Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia 

5 I am very grateful and love our many donor’s who, because they care, are quietly having an impact on the quality of health care we have come to expect from the IWK; they help to ensure that this level of excellence can continue well into the future. Their continued support is both humbling and vital. ~ Mary Theresa Ross, Manger of Planned Giving 

6 – They inspire me to be more giving.  ~ Trena Crewe, Director of Donor Relations

7 – I love our donors because they give children hope. ~ David Huett, Donor Service Specialist

8 – I love our donors because they care about the IWK as much as we do. Their donations are special and come from the heart. We both share the same the goal, to make the IWK the place possible for Maritime children, women and their families. ~ Andrew Paris, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist 

9 – I love our donors for their spirit of generosity and support for Maritime families.  ~ Natalie Foster, Database & Donor Services Administrator

10 – I love our donors because beyond the financial support they provide, they provide the most important gift of all:  hope. ~ Geoffrey Milder, Development Officer, Mainland NS & Children’s Miracle Network Program Director


From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to every one of our supporters. You are part of everything we do. 

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation.


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Happy National Philanthropy Day!

Happy National Philanthropy Day! Today, individuals around the world are celebrating and recognizing the work of philanthropists and remembering the extraordinary achievements that philanthropy—giving, volunteering and social engagement—has made in all aspects of life. Rebecca Boyd, an IWK patient, has not only benefited first hand from donor support, but she has been actively involved in a number of IWK donor events.

Rebecca Boyd

In May 2012, I was admitted to the IWK with a kidney condition. As awful and scary as it is to be in the hospital, I never really felt like I was in a “hospital”. I always felt like I was in a comfortable, happy place. It was hard on my family and I but everyone, the nurses, doctors, specialists, even the patients and their families made me feel like I was at home. In the six weeks I was there I was never bored thanks to all the facilities provided by the donors. Each day I did something different, it could be hanging out in the teen lounge, chatting with the patients in the playroom or just relaxing around in the family room I always had the opportunity to meet new people and do new things.

I have been fortunate enough to have had the chance to meet some of the donors. I can never really express the gratitude I feel towards each and every person who donates either their time or their money to the IWK. I never really knew how much of a difference a donation can make. The kindness and generosity of these people never fails to surprise me. Every donor I have met has been just wonderful. I feel like I could sit and talk with them forever and even then my gratitude wouldn’t show enough. If I had to get sick I am glad I got to go to the IWK.

Thank you,

Rebecca  Boyd, Age 14

Read more about Rebecca’s story in our 2012 Gratitude Report.

Learn about how you can get involved with the IWK Health Centre Foundation. 


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The Heart of our Community

Robbie Shaw is finishing his five-year term as President and CEO of the IWK Health Centre Foundation on March 31, 2011.

Philanthropy is closely linked with community; not just because charitable acts make our communities livable, but because these acts connect us to one another.  It is the power of these connections that can change lives and truly create the sense of community we often miss in these busy times.  It is this sense of community that has given me the most satisfaction over the years.

I would like to relate a story – perhaps the highlight of my tenure as president and CEO of the IWK Health Centre Foundation – that shows how great and touching things happen when we come together as a community. I am choosing to share it around National Philanthropy Day (November 15) as a rallying cry to others who have yet to experience the joys of being involved.

We call it the ‘double-double’ because it involves Ron Joyce, who many of you will recognize as the co-founder of Tim Hortons and part-time Nova Scotia resident. In November, 2006 we invited him to tour the operating suites before he was to announce a $1 million contribution to update them as part of the IWK’s Children’s Site Redevelopment Project.

During the tour with Chief of Orthopaedics Joe Hyndman, a little girl – she couldn’t have been more than four years old – was wailing as she was being wheeled into an operating room. Mr. Joyce watched this unfold, with tears in his eyes, and, in that instant, became firmly connected to the IWK community.  He stunned us all by announcing that he was doubling his contribution to $2 million.  He also became fast friends with orthopaedic patient Matthew Brown of Bedford; the pair still keep in touch.

That brings me to Matthew MacDonald, who, at 17, was the youngest person ever to be named Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in this region. Matthew is from Sydney Mines, a long-term patient of the IWK, and an amazing young man, who has pulled his entire community around him in his efforts to give back to the IWK.

Matthew’s started 10 years ago when he raised $92 by selling lemonade. He has become a fundraising role model in his community, raising thousands of dollars for the IWK, including more than $10,000 in 2009.

Matthew always credits his community’s efforts, but he is a catalyst because of his wonderful positive attitude and despite his numerous heart surgeries and reliance on a wheel chair. I once witnessed a sustained standing ovation for him in his high school that moved me so much. I often tell him that he will be the first physically challenged prime minister of Canada. He laughs, but knows I am serious.  

For me, this kind of personal connection is the most important, and most satisfying, part of community building; philanthropy is a great vehicle to forge those connections.

During my career to date, I have been involved in community building professionally and as a volunteer. Among my roles, I led a company that built Clayton Park and Colby Village, worked in Ottawa in economic development and had a leadership role in the major capital campaign for Dalhousie University and for the $123 million expansion of the Nova Scotia Community College. I have received as much satisfaction out of my charitable work as my professional accomplishments. Philanthropy makes you a better leader, hones your people skills, makes you more sensitive to the human element of everything you do, and more hopeful about the future.

Thank you to those who already support charitable organizations in our community, whether through donations or volunteering.  And I want to encourage others, especially young people, to look at philanthropy as a way of improving your own life, as well as the lives of others. Not everyone can pull off a double-double, but everyone has the power to build community and improve lives.