This year's Hearth Month campaign in Estevan demonstrated the generosity of the community, and the tenacity of Heart Month canvassers, according to local campaign coordinator Tamara Bloor.
The campaign was slated to be in February, but thanks to the frigid conditions that gripped southeast Saskatchewan for most of the month, canvassers were given an additional month to complete their routes.
A similar extension was granted throughout the province.
“We didn't want canvassers (outside in the cold),” Bloor told Lifestyles. “I told canvassers ahead of time to look for the nice days. Don't go out when it's -30 C.
“We don't ask canvassers to endanger themselves. Certainly, it's a volunteer activity, and we want them to be safe, so we sent a message to all of our canvassers right around the end of February, just saying it's been so cold, to take a couple weeks into March, and hope for better weather.”
There were a few canvassers who completed their routes in February, as they were able to capitalize on a brief spell of warmer temperatures in the middle of that month.
“When canvassers do get out in February, and it's really cold, people really appreciate that they're out there … and working hard for the Heart and Stroke Foundation,” said Bloor. “People are definitely willing to invite them in and talk about the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and they give when they see volunteers are so dedicated to the cause.”
This year's total was about $11,450 – with a few canvassing kits still to come in. While the figure is a little shy of their $12,000 goal, it was still considerably better than last year's total of about $10,000.
“I was really happy to see some new canvassers come on board,” said Bloor.
There were also fundraisers in the community during Heart Month. Several businesses sold red paper hearts to customers, and another company participated in the Wear what you Love promotion.
“I think there are some ideas to create more excitement around the red paper heart campaign for next year, so I think we'll see even more businesses promoting the sale of red paper hearts,” said Bloor.
Bloor said the foundation accepts donations year-round, and if people weren't visited by a canvasser in February or March, she encourages them to make a donation.