The Kinsmen Foundation, provides special needs equipment and access to medical assistance to Saskatchewan residents, groups and health foundations to improve quality of life and independence.
For individuals, innovations like ceiling track systems, portable lifts and ramps, funded by the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation, are making it possible for people to live at home and still receive the care they need. And with equipment like specialized wheelchairs, electric scooters, vehicle conversions and communications devices, people are achieving a level of independence they didn’t think possible.
When people cannot access the level of care they need at home, they must often travel to health care facilities in other parts of the province or country. And while the medical procedures may be covered by health care, the patients and their families must pay for their own travel, meals and accommodations. By easing the financial strain, the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation allows families to focus on what only they can provide – love and care.
Funding groups that directly work with people with special needs is also an important focus the Kinsmen Foundation. Across our province, loving care homes have been established with a family atmosphere to provide comfort and care to people with special needs. Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation provides funding for things like ceiling track systems, specialized tubs, lifts, specialty beds and personal care equipment to make those homes even better suited to provide quality care.
A third area of Kinsmen Foundation funding is focused on institutions and health foundations to purchase specialized, new, or innovative equipment to improve health care. Over the years, donations of this type have been provided in every corner of the province.
When the Kinsmen was established in 1971, it granted funds raised by local Kinsmen and Kinette clubs. It was soon recognized that the requests for assistance far exceeded the available funds. To meet the need, planning started in 1976 for a province-wide telethon as a major fund raiser. Telemiracle 1 was staged in Saskatoon in February 1977 and carried on a network of six Saskatchewan television stations featuring provincial and national performers.
Our Kinsmen and Kinette Volunteers continue to play a lead organizational role in staging Telemiracle -from answering phones to counting donations to constructing the stage. The broadcast elements of the production are run by volunteers from our partners at CTV. In all, 1000 people come together for the weekend to bring you Saskatchewan’s telethon profiling some of the people funded, demonstrating that it is the ability of individuals that is important, and providing 20 hours of fun and entertainment.
After the show, all the donations raised are turned over to the Kinsmen Foundation Board of Directors, who disperses the funds. Gifts are given to Saskatchewan people in line with our three funding priorities – and so our cycle, and commitment to helping people every day, continues.