By HM staff
Since the pandemic began, our fundraising events have evolved from a completely virtual Walk in June of 2020 to our most recent in-person event, Under One Sky for Wellness House this past October, occurring simultaneously at three locations. Our 2020 Ball…at your house gave guests the opportunity to gather in small, intimate groups while still supporting our cause and viewing our virtual program, and the Walk in 2021 gave additional options and locations for participation. We are encouraged by the community’s unwavering support of all of our fundraising efforts. While fundraising is the primary goal of our events, community building and advancing our mission is also critically important. Thinking outside the box of our traditional event models has allowed our events to reach and inspire new audiences and also achieve record breaking fundraising and attendance. We have learned that offering choices and flexibility surrounding how and where participants can support our events has been both essential and financially successful.
At the start of the pandemic, all programs moved online and we were able to provide uninterrupted cancer support which increased access to anyone affected by cancer. In FY 21, over 47,527 visits were made to online programs. Wellness House now offers over 500 online and in person programs each month. In 2022, participants will be able to choose from online, in-person and on-demand programming. Wellness House anticipates increasing the number of in-person programs. Participants can choose from a variety of programs such as nutrition, exercise, information and education, stress management and support and family counseling. Many programs are now presented in Spanish. Over the past year, Wellness House has provided opportunities for our volunteers to help out virtually such as taking attendance on our Zoom programs, leading our kids in Halloween tongue twisters at our Spooky Spectacular, and providing distant reiki. It’s been important to keep our volunteers engaged with our participants and our mission. We recognized a group of volunteers at Giving DuPage’s Volapalooza which is an annual award ceremony for volunteers in DuPage County. Wellness House is thankful for all the volunteers who have helped through virtual programming, special events, fundraising events and in-person programming. For volunteers who haven’t yet been able to return to their previous role, we asked them to buy a gift for our kids’ Polar Express event–and they stepped up in a big way: buying 45 gifts in 2 hours!