KTW Christmas Cheer Fund: Money raised helps survivors of brain injuries

A brain injury can be a traumatic, life-changing event, and because there’s no cure, prevention is absolutely vital.

That’s one of the things that the Kamloops Brain Injury Association is focused on — reaching out to local groups like schools or workplaces or organizations like the Lions Club to talk about brain injury prevention.

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“If we can reach more people with prevention education, that’s a good thing,” said David Johnson, executive director for the KBIA.

And Johnson stresses that they’re willing to come and talk with any group, completely free of charge. All you have to do is ask.

But that’s only half of their focus.

They also work directly with survivors of brain injury as well as those close to them with a variety of support groups and programs.

“We’re trying to expand our caregiver support group,” Johnson said. “We’re not just here for the survivors.

“We’d love to have more people join in on that.”

All of this work takes money, and the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund was a vital part of the organization’s fundraising in 2019. The majority of the money went toward the basic costs of keeping the lights on and doors open.

“It’s not very sexy,” Johnson said. “We focused on the basics, making sure there’s a place where survivors could come.”

There were a few dollars available for some upgrades to their stained glass workshop, replacing some of the broken equipment and replacing a folding table with a proper table.

They were also able to maintain some of their ongoing events like their annual trip to Paul Lake in the summer, which allows brain injury survivors who might have mobility issues the opportunity to get into the great outdoors.

Johnson said that the organization has similar plans for this year’s Christmas Cheer funds, with a focus on covering operating costs and ensuring that their doors stay open.

Even with the money, the Kamloops Brain Injury Society still needs to fundraise throughout the year to keep things running. To that end, they have plans in place for a new fundraiser for the summer of 2020.

The idea is to build a fundraiser around a tour of the many beautiful gardens in the area.

“Kamloops has a lot of beautiful homes and beautiful gardens,” Johnson said.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the Kamloops Brain Injury Association’s programs, or invite them to come and speak, contact them by phone at 
250-372-1799 or by email at djohnson@kbia.ca.

© Kamloops This Week


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