I worked in health care – nursing, primarily – for more than 50 years.
I’m now retired, and I serve on the Board of Directors at First United. My experience means I know just how serious the COVID-19 situation is in the Downtown Eastside.
I worked hard in my career, but I was also given many advantages. Because of discrimination, poor health and poverty, many people don’t have access to the opportunities I had. I’ve always felt it is important to use what I’ve been given to help those with less.
That’s why I support First United. Many in this community have existing health conditions, are homeless or in substandard housing, and are ill-equipped to practice regular handwashing or physical distancing, let alone self-isolation.This community is at risk – and people like you and I can help.
As a nurse, I learned about the holistic nature of our health: it includesphysical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. COVID-19, and the necessary actions we take to keep safe from it, will challenge every aspect of our health.
First United is stepping up in this crisis, but they need our help to do it. With our support, they tend to the holistic health of the Downtown Eastside community: providing for basic physical needs like food and shelter while fostering mental, social, and spiritual health. I am proud to be part of this organization. I have deep respect for the staff who are working under so much stress, and for those who access our services, doing their best each day to get by. I know these critical supports matter.
We know this pandemic is challenging for everyone. If your circumstances allow, will you step up today to keep the community on the Downtown Eastside safe from COVID-19?
Thank you for considering. Every gift is appreciated – none too small or too large. Stay well – I hope you and your loved ones are finding ways to stay healthy.
Heather Clarke, BScN, MN, PhD (Nursing)
First United Board of Directors