I chose to do my Social Media Profile Assignment on an organization that I hold close to my heart – Wellspring Niagara. Having played the role of a caregiver and seeing many of my friends and their families struggle with the emotional effects of cancer, I am a firm believer that Wellspring plays an integral role in helping its communities cope with cancer.
Wellspring Niagara opened its doors in 2001 and seven years later opened its second location due to demand for individuals in areas outside of Niagara. It is a non-profit organization that provides free support to individuals living with cancer, caregivers and close supporters. Its programs are innovative and responsive to the social, emotional, psychological, informational and spiritual needs of these individuals.
Wellspring operates through a network of centres where each centre offers similar programs and services that have been tailored to meet the needs of the community it serves. It is funded by the kindness of donors and every dollar raised in Niagara supports Wellspring Niagara.
Healthcare professionals who are caring for cancer patients promote the various services and programs that Wellspring offers. The need for non-medical support for cancer patients and their families is an important area that the healthcare system does not have the resources to meet. Wellspring fills the gap to meet those needs.
What Makes Wellspring Niagara Different
The Wellspring models a collaborative approach working closely with oncology experts, cancer patients, family members and caregivers to provide supportive care.
Wellspring also recognizes that the financial impact of cancer can become overwhelming and has removed this barrier for its members by providing all of its programs free of charge.
However, the intimacy that makes Wellspring Niagara different is that it was built on a legacy. Wellspring Niagara was founded from the legacy of Aldo Mantini, who had succumbed to cancer and dreamed of helping other cancer sufferers deal with the disease and bring supportive care to the Niagara Region. His sister Ann is the Executive Director, who understands the emotional effects of the disease on those not only impacted by it, but who support others that are struggling with cancer.
Wellspring provides a welcoming, compassionate, confidential, and safe environment for cancer patients. Included in this community are supporters and volunteers, many who have also gone through an experience with cancer. It is accessible to all cancer patients, regardless of the type of cancer they have.
Goals That Go Beyond Fundraising
Financial – For Wellspring, as in all non-profit organizations, financial goals are an important aspect for the continuance of services. However in addition to this, its Thorold location has reached its capacity and must find a larger facility to meet the growing needs of the community. Along with the rise in cancer rates and increasing awareness of Wellspring, attendance for its services has grown on average of 10% per year.
Community – To complement Wellspring’s financial goals, it also has a goal to continue to meet the psychosocial needs of the community by providing a variety of programs, services, education and information, and access to additional resources.