Do you love paying income tax, or are you happier legally lowering your annual bill? The GOOD NEWS is that when you make a donation to a registered charity, you may be able to reduce the taxes you must pay at the same time as helping worthwhile charities in your community. How does this relate to your local Health Co-op?
As you know, there is a severe shortage of medical services in British Columbia – everything from Family Physicians to hospital beds. The Victoria Health Co-op offers several ways for our member-owners and the wider community to make a contribution to their own health and to the wellness of the community – all while reducing the taxes they must pay next Spring. But first, here are some updates about our work:
Co-op Café Series – Thank You to the City of Victoria and our Co-Hosts!
We are happy to be hosting our Co-op Café series, supported by the City of Victoria, through which we highlight at least one Victoria area co-op each month. We are grateful to each co-host and the City for supporting these events. The World Health Organization describes health as the whole range of physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial well-being. Each of these Co-op Cafés is an opportunity to enhance our individual and community health by focusing on at least one of these Social Determinants of Health – returning to the original aim of the VHC.
Each of the featured co-ops contribute to one of the social determinants of health in our community. In September, we met at James Bay New Horizons and learned about the new locations and services of Coastal Community Credit Union, a financial co-operative that supports many community-based organizations. In October, our meeting was at CityStudio where we learned about how WIN, the Women in Need Co-op, got started and what new programs and services it is now offering to help women move beyond daily struggles and towards self-sufficiency. On November 21st, also at CityStudio, we focused on Modo, the car share co-op which reduces the total number of vehicles on the roads while giving member-owners an affordable choice of a variety of vehicles for different activities.
Wellness Practitioners & Monthly Members’ Wellness Clinics
An important aspect of this focus on all aspects of well-being is the “matchmaking” work of the Victoria Health Co-op, which brings together a very wide range of Wellness Practitioners and those of us who can benefit so much from this care. These services can be accessed at the monthly Members’ Wellness Clinics, as well as being arranged directly between the Practitioners and the rest of the members. We are working hard to list all practitioners on the website. Please check for updates on a weekly basis. Reminder: All Wellness Practitioners are invited to bring information to our Co-op Cafes – for our members, these events are a good place to find out about health and wellness services.
Funding for New Services
What else is new? We are delighted that we have secured funding to access the services of a Nurse Practitioner. To ensure that we can use the funds entirely for a Nurse Practitioner salary and related costs, we are writing proposals for funding to cover associated overhead such as rent, Electronic Medical Records, equipment and supplies etc. We will be very pleased if Victoria Health Co-op members and others in the community contribute to these non-salary costs. For any amount of $10 or more received through the Creating Community Wellness Society (CCWS) by Dec 31st we will be happy to provide a charitable donation receipt you can use to reduce your taxes.
We are also planning to implement several new Hans Kai programs, focusing on various aspects of wellness for targeted small groups. Again, contributions through CCWS are much appreciated.
Contributing to the Health of our Co-op
We have some very important questions for you:
If you are a member, you are a member-owner, what ideas and hopes do YOU have for your health co-op, and how can you contribute to make them happen?
If you were an early member of VHC, you will remember that we all committed to contributing at least $20 per year. Of course, some people contribute much more in dollars, ideas, time, and effort. This is satisfying and enjoyable, and we are proud to see that our group of very active volunteers is growing. As member or a volunteer, how would you like to contribute? Talk with us about volunteer opportunities. If you make a financial contribution to the Creating Community Wellness Society before December 31st you can use the tax receipt to reduce your taxes for 2018 (or a tax year in the next five years). We are very happy show our appreciation of major donations by ensuring that you receive one of the beautiful “Our Gift” signed and numbered prints specially designed for the Health Co-op by internationally acclaimed Coast Salish artist Chris Paul.
Please join us as we gather together to learn and discuss – bring your ideas and questions!
- Co-op Café co-hosted by the Co-op Housing Federation – Wednesday, December 5th – 6:30-8pm at CityStudio (711 Douglas St). How can we work with the Federation to address the shortage of affordable housing in our area? What mutual benefits can be shared?
- VHC Board Meeting – Wednesday, December 12th – 6pm at the upstairs meeting room, Bent Mast (512 Simcoe St) followed by a Volunteer Social 7:30 – 9:30pm for ALL volunteers: Board, Practitioners, members – everyone who contributes time or funds to maintaining and growing our Co-op.
- Co-op Movie Night co-hosted by Coast Capital Credit Union – Wednesday, January 16th – 6:30-9pm at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies Street). Popcorn will be served!
- Co-op Café co-hosted with Viridian Energy Co-op – Wednesday, February 6th at 6:30-8pm at CityStudio (711 Douglas St). Check out viridianenergy.ca
- VHC Annual General Meeting – Saturday, February 23rd – 11am-1pm at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies Street). More information to come next month!
- Co-op Café + Political Panel Discussion – Saturday, March 30th – 3pm at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies Street). Bring your questions!
- Peninsula Co-op, MEC, Vancity, Real English Victoria Language Co-op, and Stocksy have also been invited to participate in Co-op Cafés in early 2019.
Please contact VHC Chair, Vanessa Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.415.9272 with any questions and check www.facebook.com/victoriahealthcooperative and www.victoriahealthcooperative.com for details of upcoming events and to share your comments.
The Boards of the Victoria Health Co-op and the Creating Community Wellness Society wish you and your family and friends the happiest and healthiest of holidays and a very bright 2019.