It’s been a time of growth for Home Hospice North Lanark. A lot has been happening in terms of programing, public education, and finding ways to be more accessible to the community, and we are seeing a growth in support for which we are incredibly grateful. As is normal for a donor-funded charity organization, we must keep our eye on our fundraising goals. As our programs and client numbers increase, so must our budget.

So, when a local man had an idea for raising some money for HHNL, we gratefully accepted. When Wayne Morrison retired from the RCMP, a profession that took him all across Canada, he and his wife eventually settled in Almonte. He finally had time to indulge the woodworking hobby he’d long enjoyed. Wayne makes delightfully whimsical birdhouses (amongst other things) and donates them to various charities in the area.

Wayne is also next-door neighbour to one of our Board members, Phyllis Moore, who never misses an opportunity to share her enthusiasm for HHNL. She’s also on the fundraising committee. It’s easy to do the math: enthusiastic supporter + man who creates more than he has space for = a new supporter of HHNL.

Wayne first donated a few birdhouses for whatever events were happening, such as Farmer’s Markets, the online auction we participate in with the OutCare Foundation (which is coming up again this Spring) and the Union Hall “Community Builders” craft fair last Fall. For each event, Wayne showed up with a birdhouse or two as well as other items such as a sweet clothes racks for kids, a bench, bird feeders and suet holders.

Recently, he came up with a way to use up some of the scrap lumber in his shop, and showed Phyllis what he’d made. It was a beautiful bright red cardinal that holds a suet ball in its centre, and it was decided he would sell them for $25 and donate the money to HHNL. She loved it, bought it and hung it up, to the delight of the neighbourhood songbirds. She snapped a picture and sent it to HHNL Board members and a few friends, saying there were a few for sale. They got snapped up in no time. Then Board Chair Jan Watson bought one and simply posted a picture on her personal FaceBook page, resulting in lots of “Where did you get that?” comments. When Wayne heard about that, he got to work and made some more! There have been cardinal feeder sightings in numerous backyards around North Lanark with some finding homes also in Ottawa, Lanark Village, LaPasse, Petawawa and Edmonton!

Thanks to that sweet bird and its kind creator, the proceeds from almost 40 of them will go toward program costs. It’s amazing. While Wayne isn’t making more cardinals at the moment, he has already completed a bin of cute little critters for the online auction.

On behalf of HHNL and our clients, thank you, Wayne. We couldn’t do what we do without folks like you.

Are you a crafter? Have you been producing lots of lovely items and running out of people to gift them to? Why not turn your talent into support for the important work that HHNL undertakes. We’d love to hear from anyone with a creative idea! Pop us an email at [email protected].