Teens, toddlers, seniors and boomers united Wednesday in a collective act of kindness. Over $715,000 was raised in Red FM’s annual radiothon celebrating Guru Nanak Gurpurab. This year’s recipient was Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Family Birthing Unit.

Thousands of South Asian listeners of Red FM, a Surrey-based ethnic radio station, rallied around the expansion and renovation of British Columbia’s second largest Birthing Unit. The radiothon is held in celebration of Guru’s birthday. Generosity and acts of charity are a tradition of the day for Sikhs around the world.

“Surrey’s Sikh community packs a tremendous punch when it comes to charitable giving”, said Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation’s president and CEO Jane Adams. Listeners throughout the Lower Mainland, BC and the world stepped up to support the Family Birthing Unit. Digital technology enabled Red FM listeners from around the globe to participate in radiothon. Owners of a car wash in Australia contributed $1,000 as did families living in Ontario, California, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

“Donors were truly selfless”, added Adams. Two boys, aged four and seven and newly arrived in Canada, brought in their Spiderman banks. The boys pried open their banks with a can opener and spilled every cent onto the table that they had accumulated since arriving in Canada, and contributed it to the Mata Tripta Family Birthing Unit. Another woman over 100 years in age struggled up two flights of stairs to personally deliver her donation to the volunteers collecting donations at the radio station.

Proceeds from four radiothons have benefitted Surrey Memorial Hospital. In total, more than $3.5 million has been contributed, making the radiothon one of the single largest one-day, on air fundraisers in Canada.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The new name of the family birthing unit is wonderful. However, it has me assuming that integrating this name onto a unit with a high indo Canadian population is working in the favor of Fraserhealth in generating even more donations from this particular community. I would compare it to a cash grab. I am sure the Fraser health authority viewed changing the name of the unit as an advantage to garnering more cash flow from our community.I would say more for donations then name recognition. Some nurses are supportive of the name change while others primary of Non indo-Canadian descent have been making negative and hurtful comments.To hear someone laugh about the name is demeaning. I do not feel we should be working hard to donate money when people who will have the most access to the equipment are allowed to show such hate and discrimination towards a name and ones culture. Maybe educating these people about the history and orgin of this name is needed before our community puts all of there support and dedication in raising funds. If people are having such a difficult time with a 40 bed unit being given a Sikh name how does that compare to the Jim Pattison building (JPOC)which has an entire building named in his honor. The hard work and countless hours our community has done in gaining donations is not getting the positive recognition it deserves.

Comments are closed.