Donning an apron in support of JoeAnna’s House

Get cooking with the Share-a-Meal program

Paul and Alison Weber in the kitchen of JoeAnna’s House, prepping the first Share-a-Meal for guests.

KELOWNA, BC, December 8, 2022 – JoeAnna’s House has launched a new fundraising initiative – with an emphasis on the ‘fun’. Whether preparing meals for others is your ‘love language’ or you’re looking for a way to give back to the community in some way, JoeAnna’s House has a fun and unique experience for you. Grab a few friends and come and Share-a-Meal in support of JoeAnna’s House!

The Share-a-Meal Program is an opportunity for interested volunteers from the community to roll up their sleeves and gather in the JoeAnna’s House kitchen to prepare a simple, nutritious and delicious meal for families staying at the House. “Whether it’s a group of friends, colleagues, or members of a service club or team, Share-a-Meal is a way to give that ends in a healthy, nutritious meal for our guests,” says Darlene Haslock, Director of JoeAnna’s House.

Paul Weber with ADA International is no stranger to JoeAnna’s House. Even before the House opened, Paul provided over $5,000 worth of his company’s products to stock the House with soaps, shampoo, conditioner and other items. Now, Paul and his wife Alison are the first to step up for the Share-a-Meal program and provided an unforgettable meal to guests on December 7.

“Alison is a two-time cancer survivor,” shares Paul. “Back in 2019, I would pick her up after chemotherapy sessions at BC Cancer and I couldn’t help but notice the parking lot that was being transformed next door. And as the House was being built, I was absolutely amazed by the architecture and style. I knew I wanted to be a part of it and help in some way.”

“The beauty of the house is matched only by its warmth and welcoming feel,” adds Alison. “It has a way of cheering you up, and making you feel just a little bit better the moment you step inside.”

Paul and Alison support JoeAnna’s House professionally and personally. “We discussed how we wanted to give back this holiday season and considered several charities,” says Paul. “But Alison and I both love to cook and we wanted to do something different to show our support. The Share a Meal program to support JoeAnna’s House was a perfect fit for us.”

JoeAnna’s House offers affordable, short-term accommodation for families with loved ones receiving care at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). The beautiful home just across from Strathcona Park provides families with a safe and comfortable place to stay, just steps away from KGH.

“The families who stay with us are welcome to prepare their own meals on-site or eat out,” says Darlene Haslock, Director of JoeAnna’s House. “However, having a loved one in the hospital can be stressful and families may not take the time to prepare their own meals or they may choose less nutritious prepackaged options. Families welcome the opportunity to sit down for a meal prepared for them and to interact with other guests.”

As the leading referral hospital for up to 1 million residents in the BC interior, at any given time, one out of every four beds at KGH is occupied by someone outside the Central Okanagan.  A serious accident; a sick child; a baby coming too soon…every year, thousands of families from across the interior of British Columbia must travel from their homes in order to access life-saving, specialized care at Kelowna General Hospital.

Since opening its doors in November 2019 and throughout the pandemic, JoeAnna’s House has been a home-away-from-home for over 1,200 families with loved ones receiving advanced care at KGH.

“For so many families wanting to maintain a presence at KGH for the period of their loved one’s treatment, the travel and lack of affordable short-term accommodation in Kelowna add significantly to their hardship,” says Haslock. “Often we see people who arrive in town with no personal belongings and they are completely overwhelmed because of their loved one’s medical situation. Providing a prepared meal for these folks can be a little bright spot in what can often be a very challenging time.”

Owned and operated by the KGH Foundation, JoeAnna’s House is run by a small staff and a dedicated team of volunteers, supported 100% by community donations.

For more information and to sign-up for ‘Share-a-Meal’ at JoeAnna’s House, complete the online form or contact Darlene Haslock at darlene.haslock@interiorhealth.ca or 250-470-0100. For more information about JoeAnna’s House, visit joeannashouse.com.

 

Since 1978, the KGH Foundation has worked with a generous community to raise funds to support world-class healthcare close to home for a rapidly expanding and diverse population in the interior of B.C.  Today, the KGH Foundation is the lead fundraising organization for Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities, JoeAnna’s House, and Central Okanagan Hospice House.