Ruby Quiambao, a Registered Nurse at Michael Garron Hospital, reads notes in our Gratitude Gallery.
Ruby Quiambao, a Registered Nurse at Michael Garron Hospital, reads notes in our Gratitude Gallery.

Community shows its heart for the Heart of the East

A 2021 year in review, highlighting some of the many ways our community supported the Heart of the East.

In a year marked by emotional highs and lows, one constant has been our exceptional community of supporters. They have rallied around Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) and our dedicated staff in a variety of ways: making donations, participating in fundraising events, sharing thoughtful messages of thanks and more.

When FDC Foundation pledged in the spring to match up to $5 million of donations to MGH – the Heart of the East – people in our community responded quickly with a groundswell of support. They made over 1,900 donations and answered the match challenge within six months, an unprecedented feat in our hospital’s history.  

“Thanks to our community’s wonderful generosity, we now have under $15 million left to secure toward the local share of our hospital’s $560 million transformation,” says Mitze Mourinho, President of MGH Foundation. “With the love for our hospital that our community has demonstrated over the last year and a half, I’m hopeful we can secure this remaining amount before we open our state-of-the-art Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre in late 2022.”

For all the right reasons

People rallied around MGH this year for many reasons. East Torontonian Kelli Helpert donated in honour of the outstanding care given to her mom, whose lung cancer was discovered by doctors in our Stavro Emergency Department. “The care she received was responsive, kind and intuitive,” says Kelli. “Her team provided her with a sense of ‘we got this’, so she was able to feel safe and cared for.”

Five hundred people took part in CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind, a 24-hour virtual cycling fundraiser, to support mental health programming and facilities at MGH. Hundreds more have shown their appreciation for the tireless work of our healthcare heroes with messages of thanks that are proudly displayed in MGH’s Gratitude Gallery.

Other supporters, including Berna and Myron Garron, provided take-home meals for our entire staff, often saving them from having to prepare dinner for their families after a long shift on the frontlines.

What a Neighbourgood!

All of this goodness provided plenty to draw upon for our ‘Neighbourgood’ marketing campaign. Maybe you’ve seen one of our Neighbourgood billboards or transit shelter ads in East Toronto? The multimedia campaign celebrates the many acts of Neighbourgood that have benefited MGH and our community more broadly. It features people like Lina, an MGH volunteer who donated the proceeds from the sale of her home-made masks.

“As 2021 comes to a close, we have much to look forward to in the year ahead, including the opening of facilities at MGH that will allow us to meet the evolving health needs of East Toronto,” says Mitze. “We couldn’t achieve this without our incredible community behind us every step of the way.”