History of Telemiracle
The 1st Telemiracle in 1977
The Kinsmen Foundation is a volunteer driven organization dedicated to providing specialized mobility and medical equipment, and medical travel assistance to the people of Saskatchewan, improving their quality of life and independence.
Some of the equipment provided includes:
- Walker ($425)
- specialized computers for communication ($975)
- lift chairs ($1,500)
- scooter ($3,000)
- ultra-light wheelchair ($6,500)
- van conversion ($28,000)
The Foundation also assists with provincial and inter-provincial travel expenses for individuals receiving medical treatment, assessments, and organ transplants. Over the years, the needs continue to increase.
The Kinsmen Foundation of Saskatchewan was established in 1971 to assist Saskatchewan residents with physical, mental, or other challenges, as well as regional and provincial organizations serving the people with disabilities, where there is no other source of funding. The Foundation operated on dollars raised by local Kinsmen and Kinette clubs as well as individual, group, and memorial contributions. Eventually, the requests for assistance far exceeded the available funds.
To meet the demonstrated needs across the province, planning started in 1976 for a province-wide telethon as a major fundrasier. Telemiracle 1 was staged in Saskatoon in February 1977 and carried on a network of six Saskatchewan television stations, featuring provincial and national performers. Volunteers from Kinsmen and Kinette clubs in Saskatchewan play a lead organizational role in staging Telemiracle, alternating between Regina and Saskatoon as host cities. Telemiracle Producers and professionals in lighting, audio, video, and other areas manage the technical aspect of the telethon production. All aspects of Kin membership are involved at show time to answer phones, provide transportation, assist with staging, etc. It requires close to 1,000 volunteers to enable Telemiracle to be on the air for 20 hours straight.
The strength of the Foundation lies in its grassroots philosophy of being an organization focused on people. Through Telemiracle, the Foundation not only raises money but also shares the stories of people who receive funding. Viewers make a connection between the money they give and the people they help. In this way, Telemiracle has been woven into the fabric of the province.
The monies raised through the telethon are turned over to the Kinsmen Foundation Board of Directors, which disperses the funds. Kinsmen and Kinette volunteers from across Saskatchewan make up the majority of the 20 Board members, along with representatives of the provincial Ministries of Health and Social Services, and advisors from occupational therapy and finance. The Kinsmen Foundation Board meets nine times per year to review all applications submitted and make funding decisions. Travel funding applications received between scheduled Board meetings, that are of urgent nature, may be reviewed on an emergency basis. The proceeds of Telemiracle stay within the province and are granted for the benefit of Saskatchewan residents.
For more information on Telemiracle's History please visit:
Or our channel on YouTube! Here are a few videos you might find interesting!