2021 Beneficiary Stories

Housekeeping – worked in hotel housekeeping for several years.  When he was laid off from his Whistler job due to COVID he did not qualify for CERB or EI and moved to Vancouver to look for work.  Shortly afterward he was diagnosed with severe asthma as well as mouth and gum disease requiring surgery.  The BCHF supported him with funds to repay debt to a friend, cover medical costs for 3 months, and assist with dental work expenses while he continued to seek employment.

Restaurant worker   – worked in the food service industry for two decades before being laid off due to COVID.  He has had severe respiratory issues for several years which caused him to be hospitalized several times in 2020.  The BCHF supported him with the funds needed to purchase a breathing assistance device he can use at home that will enable him to return to a reasonably normal state of health following a recovery period.

Restaurant worker – was on the staff of a Victoria restaurant.  His wife works in the local hotel industry.  Norman had open heart surgery following a massive heart attack and stroke.  At 45 years old, he is now paralyzed from the waist down and faces a long recovery.  The BCHF matched funds raised by his employer (to $5000) to help provide financial relief for him and his family, which includes a teenage son.

Server – was laid off from both her part-time server positions due to COVID-related closures.  She subsequently supported herself and her 13-year-old son, who has autism, by working from home until she had a car accident in May 2021.  The collision aggravated physical injuries she had sustained in 2 previous accidents, leaving her unable to work.  The BCHF supported her with the funds to cover a month’s rent and to repay money she had borrowed from family members.

Bartender – is a bartender whose income was drastically affected by COVID-related closures.  The serious shoulder injury he sustained during a running accident in July 2021 prevented him from working for six weeks and added physiotherapy treatments to his expenses.  The BCHF supported him with funds to ease the financial pressures he was under so he could focus on recovering and applying for second part-time jobs to increase his income.

Bartender and Proprietor – was a career hospitality worker who passed away in 2021 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was a loving single dad with two teenagers.  The BCHF contributed $5000 to a GoFundMe campaign raising funds to support his children with their future education and other needs.

Brewery worker – has a genetic form of MS. He worked at a local brewery until he was laid off due to the COVID pandemic.  After his government benefits ran out, the BCHF paid for a machine to help him with his sleep apnea.

Media – published a hospitality-related magazine until he passed away quite suddenly due to cancer.  The BCHF supported the spouse and the couple’s two children with funds to help cover their immediate needs, to give them a chance to deal with the emotional and financial shock of their loss.

Chef – had worked in the hospitality industry for three decades prior to being diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis.  The disease resulted in a myriad of disabilities, preventing her from continuing to work in a commercial kitchen.  She is working part-time in a vineyard, but will be unable to support herself for the foreseeable future and is waiting to be advised of the result of his disability benefit application.  The BCHF supported her by contributing to basic expenses for two months, as well as and covering the cost of orthotics and wrist braces.

Winery employee – who became paralyzed from the waist down in an autoimmune reaction attributed to his COVID vaccination.  He is currently working part-time from home, but his employment future is uncertain and his wife has had to reduce her working hours to help him access medical care.  The BCHF supported the couple by contributing $5000 to cover the balance owing on his wheelchair and the purchase of an adjustable table that would enable him to work more comfortable.

Brewery General Manager – had to reduce her hours and finally leave her job to care for her adult daughter, who has a rare tumour causing spinal deterioration.  The BCHF contributed to the cost of renovating the family’s home to make it wheelchair accessible, and helped promote the GoFundMe campaign organized to fund this goal.

Disc jockey and audio/video/lighting specialist – working in Whistler suffered a stroke at the age of 56.  Severe impairments as a result of the event, as well as months of costly rehab, depleted their family resources.  The BCHF supported him with $8,000 as temporary assistance for day-to-day expenses while his wife focuses on increasing her income and they wait to hear about CPP disability benefits.