In 2020 Sherwood Care set their sights on raising $20,000. This money represented safer, more vibrant spaces where beloved Canadians could spend their final seasons of life. It represented access, comfort, laughter, new experiences, and delighted seniors. To Sherwood Care, $20,000 in fundraising represented the ability to continue to achieve their mission of delivering warmth, compassion, and quality care.
Before then, their best fundraiser garnered $10,000. In 2020 they not only raised that $20,000, they nearly doubled their goal, bringing in $36,000. The next year, they nearly doubled again raising $70,000. How did they go from less than $10,000 to over $70,000 in under three years? It wasn’t magic or a miracle or chance or wishing hard. It was The Grand Parade.
Who is Sherwood Care?
Sherwood Care is a long-term care facility nestled in the hamlet of Sherwood Park, Alberta. Established in 1969, they offer residents a full-range of services: round the clock nursing, on site dietician, occupational and physical therapists, social worker, visiting physicians, recreational therapist, a full-time chaplain, hairdresser, laundry and housekeeping, and plant services. Amidst the stormy challenges of the medically complex needs of aging Canadians, Sherwood Care is a refuge for their residents and a harbour of peace for their families.
Led by a team of dedicated, faithful staff, including Harley Hempel, the Director of Resident Therapies, Sherwood Care deeply values and cares for their community of residents, families, staff, physicians, and volunteers.
Enter the Grand Parade
That deep care is what led them to TGP. After more than five DIY walkathons, Sherwood Care had hit a dead end. Harley Hempel knew they could do better – despite loads of effort, enthusiasm, and expertise, their fundraising events just weren’t raising enough money. While their events had spirit, they weren’t able to extend beyond the already-engaged staff and residents’ families. An incredible amount of work was resulting in lackluster results.
Never one to be content with lackluster anything, he went in search of a new solution. Partnering with TGP provided Harley and his team with a national peer-to-peer fundraiser that was values-aligned, easy to execute, and had virtually no risk. Check. Check. Check.
For Sherwood Care, partnering with TGP meant they could:
- Connect with the community – Free from worrying about branding, website, registration, t-shirts, and receipts, Harley and his team could focus on building and nurturing relationships with team captains. And that’s exactly what they did, resulting in doubling the number of participants from 2020 to 2021.
- Provided meaningful volunteer opportunities: – Volunteers are the lifeblood of quality care. As teams grew, so did awareness of Sherwood’s mission and vision. This provided Sherwood Care’s current volunteers with a meaningful opportunity to re-engage with the Care Centre after the lengthy COVID-19 restrictions and allowed businesses to participate and make a positive impact.
- Securing Sponsorships – Over $16,500 was raised through business sponsorships alone. Harley attended TGP training sessions on sponsorships and corporate and community partnerships. This knowledge (and confidence!) was critical in moving the needle:
“TGP’s guidance on sponsorships, now that was something. We had asked business for gift cards and other small things in the past, but to have the confidence to ask for $5,000 – that was wild. To ask organizations we had never thought of…and they said yes! So, so valuable.”
Big Energy, Big Results
The Grand Parade is about more than fundraising! It’s about building buzz, creating awareness, and showing up for those who are often avoided, ignored, or forgotten. It’s about gathering together in community, doing something important, and having fun! It’s about jumping for joy and throwing Monopoly money in the air when you hit your first $20,000. (We see you Harley! 👀)
For Sherwood Care, The Grand Parade was exciting and engaging – for everyone – residents, staff, and the community at large. It was an amazing opportunity to:
Show They Care
- Residents, families, and staff delighted in showing up, donning a well-earned t-shirt, and walking in support of both the aging Canadians they love and the valuable work of Sherwood Care.
- Big smiles, loud laughter, and full hearts filled the streets around Sherwood Care as everyone knew something truly special was happening. They didn’t just raise money, they took time out of their day to show someone they matter.
- One team, The Mamacita Marchers, was determined to be #1 in Canada. Their team captain, a unit clerk at Sherwood Care, used her powers of persuasion to recruit 10 people in 2 days and started collecting donations immediately!
- The rest of the staff were not going to let the Mamacitas win easily! Other staff were quick to compete, each vying for access to the many coveted donors and climbing their way to the top of the scoreboard. Their spirit was contagious (in a good way!).
- Event day featured local Scottish dancers and bagpipers, the Mamacitas team dancing their way through the event alongside 20 other teams, and big smiles on the faces of residents.
- The community came out in droves to walk together, eat together, and support one another.
Well Worth It
Aging Canadians deserve an incredible place to live their final season of life. They deserve a place that prioritizes all of their needs and offers an up-to-date, accessible facility, inside and out. The funds raised through TGP support aging Canadians, each of whom has an amazing life story to tell, living out their days in comfort and peace. The kind of place you’d want for your grandparents, parents, caregivers, and someday, yourself.
When incredible organizations like Sherwood Care partners with the proven systems and support of The Grand Parade, magic happens! Looking to run an amazing, engaging, effective campaign? Walk this way!