#GetInTouchForHutch Fulfills FCSSGW’s #GivingTuesday Distress Line Fundraising Goal

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#GetInTouchForHutch Fulfills FCSSGW’s #GivingTuesday Distress Line Fundraising Goal

Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington (FCSSGW) received a donation from #GetInTouchForHutch to fulfil the #GivingTuesday campaign goal of raising $5,000 to support its Guelph and Wellington County Distress Line/TeleConnect service. In combination with FCSSGW’s other #GivingTuesday proceeds and community donations, the contribution pushed the total amount fundraised over $15,000.

The Distress Line provides emotional support through active listening and empathy to help people who feel stressed, overwhelmed, and hopeless. The service is anonymous, confidential, and free to all residents. Almost 100 volunteers staff the Distress and TeleConnect Lines seven days a week, and calls have quadrupled since the onset of COVID-19. TeleConnect is the outbound telephone service that conducts medication reminders, wellness checks and more for isolated residents. FCSSGW is receiving a large number of referrals from acute and primary care and paramedics for this program. The bulk of funding generously donated by the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin unfortunately does not cover all costs.

“I can’t express what these donations mean to the residents of Guelph-Wellington and our agency,” said executive director Joanne Young Evans. “Our distress line operators are fielding 400+ calls every week, calls from people of all ages who are struggling with mental health issues, abuse, and thoughts of suicide. This money has saved lives and can save a life of your friend, neighbour, or family member”

#GetInTouchForHutch understands the necessity of the Distress Line service. The organization’s founder Myrna Hutchison lost her son to suicide in February 2013. Hutchison wanted to find a way to help those struggling with mental health concerns realize that there are others experiencing the same thing and that there is help available if they reach out for support. “They need to know that it is OK to not be OK sometimes, and it is OK to talk about our problems no matter how big or small they are,” said Hutchison. “Reaching out can be scary, but when you do it allows someone to start helping you carry the weight that you have been bearing on your own. The Distress Line is a great first step since it is anonymous, but it proves that people care and want to help. It feels so good to support such an important cause!”

The $5,000 is a collection of associated donors from within the local community. If you would like to contribute to the Distress Line or to FCSSGW, visit: https://give.charityvillage.com/profiles/family-counselling-and-support-services-for-guelph-wellington. FCSSGW is a registered charity that issues tax receipts for donations over $20.

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