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.