The Kinsmen Foundation of B.C. is celebrating over 60 years of serving the needs of severely physically disabled people throughout British Columbia. The Foundation was started by the Kinsmen Club of Vancouver in 1952 to fight and find a cure for the dreaded disease, Polio. When a cure was found, the Foundation changed its focus to assist those who were stricken with this terrible disease. In later years the Foundation was expanded.
The mission of the Kinsmen Foundation is to raise funds to support many worthwhile organizations and individuals facing the daily challenges of living with a severe physical disability to improve their quality of life and independence.
The Kinsmen Foundation is the District Project of the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of British Columbia and Yukon, and the Kin Family takes great pride in their accomplishments over the past 60 years. Just a few of those accomplishments include:
Technology for Independent Living – An organization that was started and nurtured by the Kinsmen Foundation that provides very specialized technical assistive devices for severely physically disabled people to help them become more independent and enjoy a more fulfilling quality of life.
Noble House – The Kinsmen Foundation was instrumental in launching Noble House, an accessible residence to provide independent living for persons with severe physical disabilities.
Canuck Place – The Foundation provided substantial funding for one of the rooms at Canuck Place – a home away from home for children and families facing a life threatening illness.
Kinsmen Neurological Tower at the University of British Columbia. Major funding was provided by the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs through their Foundation to build this world famous research facility at UBC.
G. F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre – The Kinsmen Club of Vancouver donated the land on which the G. F. Strong Centre sits today, and the Kinsmen Foundation and Kin Clubs throughout BC have provided thousands of dollars to the facility over the past 53 years.
The Kids On The Block – This was a very popular disabled puppet program that provided an ongoing education and awareness program for school children throughout the province to help educate young people about disabilities.
BC Health Centre’s – In the early stages of the Foundation, when Polio was an epidemic, the Kinsmen Foundation and the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of BC provided funding for many community and regional health Centre’s throughout the entire Province.
For many years in its history, the Kinsmen Foundation ran an annual Kinsmen’s Mothers March. The Annual Mother’s March fundraiser was staged throughout the entire Province. It was managed by the Foundation and run by the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs throughout their communities to raise funds for their Foundation. This allowed the Foundation to provide funding for equipment, counseling, resource library, equipment loan program, Kids on the Block puppet show and a special technical aids program that went on to win the Readers Digest Award for their work in building assuasive devices to aid the disabled.
As times changed and it became more and more difficult for the Foundation and Kin Clubs to continue to do ‘door-to-door’ fundraising campaigns, the March faltered and was stopped a number of years ago. Since that time, the Foundation has had to rely on the support of their Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs and individual donors to provide funding for them to continue to carry out their mission of service to the severely physically disabled adults of British Columbia and Yukon.
With the ongoing cutbacks in healthcare and increased competition in the field of fundraising and non-profits, it has been a real challenge to the Foundation to maintain its ability to meet these needs. Thanks to the ongoing and increasing support of our Kin Family, we have been able to provide a great deal of support to many of our Province’s severely physically disabled.
The Foundation Board of Directors would like to say a big THANK YOU to the Kinsmen and Kinettes of British Columbia and Yukon for their continued faith and support of their Foundation, the Kinsmen Foundation of B.C. Without your continued support, we would not be able to continue the excellent work of the Foundation.
Chief Executive Officer, Kinsmen Foundation of B.C.
1403 – 1190 Pipeline Road