Classic Garden’s Josh Payne presents Covenant Foundation’s Mickey Melnyk with a large cheque of over $7,000 to support the Misericordia and Grey Nuns hospitals.
Since opening its doors in 1990, Ellerslie Gift & Garden has built a reputation as one of Edmonton’s most delightful family-owned businesses. Over the last 32 years, the company has grown and changed in many ways, including undergoing an expansion to include Classic Landscapes (now Classic Gardens). However, two things have always remained the same – the business’s commitment to making the Edmonton area a more beautiful place, and the genuine love of community held by the Classic Gardens team.
It was this love of community that inspired Classic Gardens to host its #GrowingCare campaign and rally its generous customers to raise over $7,000 in support of the greatest needs at the Misericordia and Grey Nuns hospitals. Supporting local healthcare in the community the business has proudly operated in for the last three decades – where its valued staff and customers live, work and play – was also a way to show gratitude to Covenant’s frontline teams who have cared for the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our passion is to make lives better – a passion that we share with our customers, our staff, and everyone at Covenant Health,” says Classic Gardens owner Josh Payne. “We believe wholeheartedly in the power of our community, and are honoured to be part of the #GrowingCare campaign as a practical way to express our core values and actively participate in a sincere commitment to each other."
The #GrowingCare campaign poster
Over the course of two months, the dedicated staff at Classic Gardens encouraged customers to help grow care for their local Covenant Health hospitals through a donation online or in store while shopping for supplies to grow their home gardens.
Anyone who donated was given a green paper heart on which they could write the name of a loved one and hang it on the Tree of Life located inside the store. By the end of the campaign, the tree was filled to the tips of its branches with hearts. Many were dedicated to loved ones who had received care at the Grey Nuns or Misericordia, demonstrating the personal connection many Albertans have to Covenant’s hospitals and their desire for supporting holistic health care for the body, mind and soul in their local community.
The Tree of Life filled to the tips of its branches with hearts containing names of loved ones who received exceptional care at the Grey Nuns or Misericordia.
“It was amazing to see the tree getting filled up with green hearts,” says Karen Schiltz, one of the Classic Gardens staff members who helped coordinate the campaign. “When you're reading the messages on the tree, you realize it’s not just people’s own names, but messages for children or neighbours. It got everyone thinking about all the experiences that they and the people they know have had, showing that everybody is touched by these hospitals.”
Throughout the campaign, many staff and customers alike shared personal stories about the care they or their loved ones have experienced at the Misericordia and Grey Nuns hospitals. From a staff member and mother whose life was saved by vital emergency care at the Grey Nuns, to a daughter who witnessed a parent receive life-saving cardiac care at the Misericordia, each story demonstrated the tremendous impact of these hospitals on the people who live and work around us.
Through every stage of life, the Misericordia and Grey Nuns hospitals are there in the moments that matter most. And support from generous partners like Classic Gardens helps equip Covenant’s frontline teams with the specialized tools they need to provide the best care possible for our community.
“We’re so grateful to Classic Gardens for spearheading the #GrowingCare campaign and to all of the incredible donors who contributed to the Tree of Life,” says Mickey Melnyk, a major gifts officer with Covenant Foundation. “It just goes to show how big of an impact we can have in the lives of patients and their families in our community when we all work together.”
Truly a family event, the #GrowingCare colouring page got children involved in the campaign, too.
The money raised through #GrowingCare helps our foundation invest in priority needs such as specialized programs, state-of-the-art equipment and training, and enhanced care spaces that directly impact patients and families at the Misericordia and Grey Nuns hospitals.
One such priority is the foundation’s Room to Care. Time to Give. campaign for the Misericordia emergency department (ED), currently under construction and scheduled to open in fall 2023. This new, patient-centered, state-of-the-art ED will be able to handle 60,000 patient visits annually. It will feature more treatment spaces and ambulance bays, a purpose-built mental health area with more beds, and an on-site training centre to help ensure staff are prepared for any situation.
At the Grey Nuns, our foundation is investing in neonatal warming mattresses for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These specialized mattresses help newborns in the NICU maintain normal body temperatures in a way that is more accessible to nurses and parents than a traditional incubator, potentially reducing the length of time spent in the hospital and allowing parents to be more involved in their baby’s care sooner.
“Fundraising partnerships with businesses help our foundation transform health care in ways – big and small – that make a life-changing difference for patients today and for generations to come,” says Mickey. “The overwhelming success of the #GrowingCare campaign was a result of the tremendous efforts of the Classic Gardens team and the generosity of their loyal customers. It’s another example of how this community-minded, local business is helping to make Edmonton more beautiful for all of us.”
If your organization would like to partner with Covenant Foundation to raise funds and support health care in your community through a campaign like #GrowingCare, please contact our office at 780.342.8126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.