August 27, 2014 12:15 pm

Every kernel counts

VULCAN- A southern Alberta group is hoping a unique campaign will raise enough money to breathe new life into an old health facility.

Organizers of ‘Harvest for Health’ hope local farmers will open their hearts, their wallets and their grain bins.

As harvest season approaches southern Alberta the crops start to turn golden, but some will be staying green all in the name of charity.

“We all use it, and it’s an integral part of the community,” says local farmer Gordon Nelson of the local care facility in Vulcan.

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Nelson is just one Vulcan County resident paying it forward to ‘Harvest for Health’.  A colourful fundraiser aimed at improving health care in the area.

“These facilities in small towns small areas struggle so, we all need to do our part to support them and make sure they are viable long term,” adds Nelson.

The campaign is the brain child of the Vulcan County Health and Wellness Foundation, and for this project they are working alongside the provincial government.

“In cooperation with Minister Horne and Alberta Health Services we came to the agreement that we could fundraise for our future, and it’s all part in looking into the next 30 years of what a rural, vibrant health care plan for this area looks like,” says Scott Mitchell, Chair of the Vulcan County Health and Wellness Foundation.

Gordon Nelson checks a grain bin on his farm in Vulcan County

Their dreams are big as they look to raise $5 million dollars over the next three years. The money raised will fund a 15,000 square foot addition to its existing hospital.

“The facility in terms of occupancy is always over 100 per cent, between 110 and 130 per cent occupancy. I couldn’t run a hotel like that,” adds Mitchell.

Nelson is taking the lead. He’s donated a 160 acre crop of canola to Harvest for Health. The seed he planted was donated by a number of local seed companies.

“I would hope that maybe it might make other farmers think to give some. I don’t care how much, small amounts add up when there is lots of people that do it,” adds Nelson.

In the Vulcan area farming is a livelihood, and those helping the initiative hope growing a simple crop will inspire the community to grow together for one common good.

“People know that health care is a universal thing, people know that it effects everyone the same way and I think that brings people together on an emotional level,” adds Mitchell.

From the field, to a prosperous facility for a county in need…. every kernel counts.

For a full break down of  how the donation process works and how tax receipts will be issued visit the foundations website at

http://www.vchwfoundation.com/

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