2020-2021 Kinsmen Foundation Board

This pandemic didn’t just have an affect on the TeleMiracle telethon. It also had an impact on our Kinsmen Foundation Board of Directors’ meetings.

The Board moved to virtual meetings. Something it had never tried before. It ended up becoming one of those changes that COVID forced on us, but proved to provide several benefits, so it’ll probably continue after the pandemic. At least for some of the meetings.

Our Foundation Board members have a tough job. They review the approximately 1,000 applications that come in for funding, every year. The Zone Representatives must contact the applicants they are assigned to and then advocate for them during the meeting. After which, the Board votes to approve or decline the application, or table it till next meeting while more information is gathered.

It’s a significant time commitment and it is all done by volunteers! They are all so amazing!

This year’s Board did not let the pandemic stop them from “Helping People Every Day”.

We don’t often get a chance to hear from our Board members, so we thought we’d ask them a couple questions.

The first question was: What made you decide to be on the Board

The second question was: What is one of your favourite things about being on the Board or what is one thing you learned this year?

Here’s what some of them answered!

Kim Lowe, Board Chair

I always had an interest in being on the Board. I had heard the stories about what happened at Board meetings and how we were helping so many people.  I had been on the TeleMiracle Committee and District Committee and from there I knew I wanted to be on the Board. Who knew it would lead to being Chair!

Meeting all the different people on the Board where I have made friends for life! The Zoom meetings aren’t quite the same, but we do have some good laughs! And there are stories/comments that just the Board members will get and laugh every time.

Kim Lowe

Growing up as a Kin Kid, TeleMiracle has always had a special place in my heart.  I decided to volunteer on the Kinsmen Foundation Board because I wanted to become more involved with TeleMiracle and to learn more about what goes on “behind the scenes”.  

I have gotten so much out of being on the Board! One of the greatest highs is having the honor of informing applicants when their requests for funding are granted. I have cried happy tears with an applicant on more than one occasion.  Also, as a farmer myself I have never had opportunity to learn much about Healthcare or support programs. So, I really value the knowledge I have gained in those areas from my experience on the Board.

Lyndsay L’Heureux

Lyndsay L'Heureux, Vice-Chair
Ted Moir, Past Chair
Corinne Mathews, Kin Canada District III Governor
Brian Angstadt, TeleMiracle 45 Chair
Michelle Miller, Kin Canada District III Vice-Governor

I’ve always been passionate about helping others. Being part of the Foundation Board, we are able to help so many people that couldn’t afford equipment or travel for medial appointments otherwise. 

My favorite thing about being part of the board is seeing how hard everyone works to help people when they need it the most. 

Michelle Miller

Amanda Whyte, Treasurer

I was honoured to be a Zone Representative for two years and was honoured to be appointed Treasurer for this year.

When I initially applied to be a Zone Rep. I was looking for a new way to help people, to meet new people and to learn some new skills. TeleMiracle has always had a special place in my heart, watching it as a child, volunteering behind the scenes once I joined Kin, and now a chance to meet those who are in need.

It is a very humbling experience to put yourself in other people’s shoes and be their voice during the meeting. I loved the opportunity to help people during a very difficult time in their lives when there is often no one else to turn to.

Amanda Whyte

Chris Janzen, Zone A Rep

I have been a Kinette for 8 years and I wanted to do more to support the people in Saskatchewan outside my community.  I have loved being part of TeleMiracle in my own community each year and I wanted to take on a bigger role in the organization.  

I have really appreciated getting to know the people of Saskatchewan and their stories.  Anyone can have a moment in their life when they need help from others, and I am humbled to be able to help the people of my province.  It is truly amazing how our province comes together every year to support people in our province to be independent and have access to better health.  Even in a world-wide pandemic, the people of Saskatchewan do what they can to help each other out.  That is why I love this province!

Chris Janzen

Dave Kolody, Zone B Rep
Brad Amy, Zone C Rep
Glenda McTavish, Zone D Rep

I decided to become part of the Foundation Board for a few different reasons. 1. I love helping people. 2. I also wanted to grow as an individual. 3. Wanted to see honestly how it all worked.

The knowledge and friendship that I have gotten from being a part of this amazing organization is something that I can not explain. I have learned so much about the process, about myself. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for letting me be apart of this fantastic organization!

Glenda McTavish

Chris Fisher, Zone E Rep

I decided to join the Board because I am passionate about TeleMiracle and wanted to see where the money goes.

My favourite part is making a call to an applicant whose request was approved. It is very powerful and uplifting!

Chris Fisher

Melissa McBlain, Zone F Rep
Raelynn Nicholson, Zone G Rep
Jenny Brouwers, Zone H Rep

Our current Chair Kim Lowe has been a really big inspiration for me over the years. She has done such amazing work, and my first year on the Board was the year she was hoping to be Vice Chair. I have always loved TeleMiracle and the work that the Board does, and I thought this would be a great chance to have a new experience in the Kin community. I thought doing this and working alongside Kim would be an incredible experience and I was correct! 

Getting to hear the happiness in someone’s voice when they find out they are getting the funding they need. Getting to make others happy is one of the most incredible feelings.

Jenny Brouwers

Terri Hamilton, Zone I Rep
Angela Bresciani, Kin at Large

I wanted to join the Foundation Board to give back. In 2013 the Kinsmen Foundation helped my family when my son needed reconstructive hand surgery, at nine months old, and we had to travel to Winnipeg. The Kinsmen Foundation helped cover costs for travel and meals,  for my husband and I .

The best part of being on Board is when you get to make calls to tell them that we approved their application and when you cry on the phone together .

Angela Bresciani 

Sandra Jones, Member at Large (OT)

As an Occupational Therapist I had been an advocate for clients who needed equipment and often assisted them to apply for funding through the Kinsmen Foundation.  I saw first-hand the incredible benefits of the Foundation funding; in many cases the equipment enabled applicants to remain in their homes and improved their quality of life. At the time I was retiring after working for 45 years in a profession I loved. A vacancy opened on the Board. Being on the Board has enabled me to stay in touch with the Occupational Therapy community, and to continue to assist applicants obtain necessary equipment.

I enjoy working with the members of the Board who are so dedicated to assisting the people of Saskatchewan. We have managed to continue to work and to hold the annual TeleMiracle in a time of a pandemic. The province of Saskatchewan is known for the work the Foundation carries out. I am continually impressed by the collaboration and support provided to the members of the Board. It is a privilege to work with such an amazing group.

Sandra Jones

Randy Krukoff, Member at Large (Finance resource)

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