Help shed a light on cancer this holiday season.

One in two of us will hear the words “you have cancer” in our lifetime. You likely know someone touched by cancer ­– which means you know the mental, physical and emotional toll it takes on people and those who love them.

Wellspring Calgary exists to ensure no one has to face cancer alone.

Thanks to donors like you, Wellspring offers a comprehensive array of evidence-informed programs and services – complementary to medical treatment. We treat the mind, body and spirit. We provide a steadfast community of support and belonging for anyone diagnosed with cancer and their families.

“The thing about Wellspring is it’s one big community of compassion and understanding. Everyone is welcome, there are no exclusions. It doesn’t matter what program you take or how much energy you have to contribute, you always know it’s okay. You’re with your people, you’re where you belong.”
– Bev Watson, Wellspring member

Your financial support makes all of this possible. You are the friend that reaches down and lifts up members like Bev Watson, living with Stage IV cancer. Your support enables Wellspring to provide free programs and resources that build hope, joy and community.

Six months of online programming during the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that Wellspring Calgary is on track to serve the same number of people living with cancer in 2020 as we served in 2019 when we had two centres open and fully operational. Surveys of these online programs shows 91% of participants felt less isolated in their cancer journey and 99% would recommend Wellspring to a friend.

When you give to Wellspring Calgary, you transform lives. You infuse dark days with light.

With this year’s pandemic, those living with cancer are experiencing significantly more stress and isolation. To show you care, we invite you to make a donation or increase your support – and your gift will be matched!

This year, the Gerald A. Cooper-Key Foundation, Jack Anderson and Dr. Wendy Ovaris, the Reilly Family and additional anonymous donors have stepped up to match donations made on or before December 31, up to $205,000­ – making this year our largest Light It Up Year-End Matching Campaign ever!

Click here to make a donation and have it matched.

Thank you for being a friend and a light in the world. Thank you for caring.

With gratitude,

Patti Morris
Chief Executive Officer, Wellspring Calgary

COVID-19 6-month update and message of thanks

From the day we opened our doors, and every day since, our members – those living with cancer, their caregivers and their families – remain our steadfast, unwavering, number one priority.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused us to temporarily close the doors to our centres on March 13, Wellspring Calgary has been hard at work providing new ways to reach out to our members and broaden our reach. This includes providing programs online and over the phone, moving our manual systems online, and expanding our reach to all of southern Alberta – from Red Deer to the Canadian border.

Wellspring Calgary is providing an essential service that is continually being stretched to meet increased community partner requests, increased demand, and increased memberships, each and every day. Since the pandemic began six months ago, we’ve served 873 people, who have visited 165 programs over 10,400 times. This is nearly the same number of people we supported over six months last year, when our two centres were operating at full capacity with in-person programming.

This work would not be possible without the critical support we have received from our members, funders, donors, community partners, volunteers, program leaders, employees, and friends.

Thank you for being part of the Wellspring community and for helping us advance our mission, to ensure no one has to face cancer alone.

“In these unprecedented times, I wanted to send you a big thank you for all that you and the team at Wellspring are doing to keep programs available. They make a huge difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families – I would not have found treatment as manageable without you. Cancer has been one of the most difficult things I have ever been through, but being able to participate in Wellspring’s programs has been profoundly important. They have helped me find my way through the impossible days and allowed me to celebrate the good days since my diagnosis last summer. Wellspring is a community I hope to be part of for many more years.”

– Wellspring member

Recent Developments:

Expanded Reach

In 2018, Wellspring conducted an environmental scan that unearthed a significant need for non-medical cancer support programs and services in southern Alberta communities. In response, Wellspring developed a three-year plan to expand our reach by working collectively with communities to create sustainable cancer support from Red Deer to the Canadian border.

Prior to COVID-19, Wellspring developed a partnership with the Alberta Cancer Foundation to implement our Southern Alberta Strategy. COVID-19 expedited our online programming and outreach to many new health professionals and community partners. In six months, we have welcomed 306 new members, 78 from outside of Calgary – from 26 different communities.

Increase Programs 

Community Partners continue to reach out to Wellspring Calgary for our expertise in providing essential, non-clinical, evidence-based programs and services. Wellspring is able to deliver these programs and services cost-effectively and efficiently, with cost savings to the healthcare system. Thanks to the trust expressed by our healthcare network, we are pleased to be working in partnership on an array of new opportunities.

Among our new programs, Wellspring Calgary is honoured to be working with Cancer Care Alberta, the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton as we prepare to launch a provincial Indigenous cancer program this year which will be co-facilitated with community Elders.

Gratitude to our Donors

Like many charities, Wellspring Calgary’s fundraising efforts have been impacted by COVID-19. While we worked to re-imagine special events and fundraisers, we are in immense gratitude of all of you who called or wrote us as first time donors, who gave what you could, who shared our messages, who signed up to become monthly donors, who increased your gifts, who gave your annual gift months in advance, and many who we welcomed back. Thank you! Your gifts, as well as your words of support and encouragement for those we are privileged to serve, keeps us inspired.

We continue to maximize all alternate sources of potential funding, such as emerging one-time government and foundation COVID-19 grants. We are pleased to share the following updates:

  • COVID-19 “Cancer is not Cancelled” matching gift campaign: During significant economic uncertainty, you, our trusted donors, raised a total of $260,000! Our sincere gratitude to four anonymous donors who stepped forward to inspire your acts of generosity.
  • The Calgary Foundation: We received a gift of $20,000 through the Pandemic Recovery Program.
  • The City of Calgary, Emergency Resiliency Fund: A one time grant of $50,000.
  • The Government of Alberta, Community and Social Services Grant: A one time grant of $100,000.
  • The Government of Alberta, Mental Health and Addictions: Phase 1 grant of $211,474.

We are also in the preparatory stages of delivering our Light it Up Calgary year-end matching campaign. Stay tuned for further details.

Our Centre

Thankfully, parts of our world are reopening and returning to normal; however, out of concern for the health and safety of our cherished members, volunteers, program leaders and staff, Wellspring is not there yet. With cold and flu season coming up, in addition to continued COVID-19 cases, we will not be opening our centres in 2020.

We will stay in contact with our members, providing ample notice of any openings or in-person programming. In the meantime, we continue to offer programs and support online.

 

 

We are so grateful to our Wellspring community – and during this season of thanks, want to express our deep gratitude.

Thank you to those who have just joined us or are long-time members, participating in our online programs. Thank you to our miraculous volunteers who continue to offer support in new, different, and important ways. Thank you to those who lead our programs and provide key support, allowing us to run the programs that we do. And thank you to those who have made donations, supported fundraising efforts and provided key partnerships – you are the backbone of this community! Despite the pandemic, we’ve seen this community expand and grow stronger.

I look forward to what the remainder of 2020 holds. Please stay safe.

Patti Morris
CEO, Wellspring Calgary

 

Notice of Blackbaud Data Breach

Wellspring Calgary has recently learned that one of our third-party database software providers, Blackbaud, has experienced a data security breach, involving personal data, that has impacted many of its clients around the world.

While the data security breach did not occur at Wellspring Calgary and did not impact Wellspring data, we take the protection and stewardship of your personal information very seriously. Ensuring the safety of this information is of the upmost importance to us, no matter where it resides. We encourage all Wellspring stakeholders (members, volunteers, or donors) to take extra precautions with their information.

What happened?

On July 16th, Blackbaud notified its impacted clients of a data security breach. Blackbaud advised that they were a victim of a sophisticated ransomware attack. After discovering the attack, Blackbaud’s cyber security team—together with independent forensics experts and law enforcement—successfully prevented the cybercriminal from blocking their system access and fully encrypting files; and ultimately expelled them from their system. Prior to locking the cybercriminal out, the cybercriminal removed a copy of a backup file from the Blackbaud system, which contained some of their stakeholder information. This occurred between February 7, 2020 and May 20, 2020.

More information on the breach can be found at https://www.blackbaud.com/securityincident.

What information was involved?
The backup file in the Blackbaud system may have included information about affected stakeholders and others that may have engaged with a variety of non-profits. This information may include names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and giving history (including donation amount(s), payment method, card type and if a donation was to a specific giving area). No credit card or banking information was compromised, except the payment method by which a donation was made (ex. credit card or cheque) and the card type used to make the donation (ex. Visa, Mastercard, American Express). That is, no credit card numbers, credit card expiry dates, credit card security codes, or bank account numbers were compromised.

Following their investigation into the event, Blackbaud opted to pay the cybercriminal’s demand only after receiving credible confirmation that the copy of the backup file had been destroyed by the cybercriminal.

What are we doing?

Wellspring Calgary takes the protection and stewardship of your personal information very seriously and ensuring the safety of this information is of the upmost importance to us.

We are posting this on our website out of an abundance of caution to ensure all of our stakeholders are aware of the situation.

Blackbaud confirmed they were able to identify the vulnerability associated with this incident, including the tactics used by the cybercriminal, and has fixed the vulnerability. Additionally, Blackbaud is accelerating their efforts to further protect their environment through enhancements to access management, network segmentation, deployment of additional endpoint and network-based platforms and we will work closely with Blackbaud to understand what actions they are taking to increase their security.

What can you do?
As always, you should remain vigilant with respect to unsolicited emails and update passwords on a regular basis. Remember, Wellspring Calgary will never contact you requesting any password information or log in credentials. If you ever notice suspicious activity, you should of course report it to the appropriate authorities and organizations.

If you ever have any concerns about the validity of any contact you receive from Wellspring Calgary, you may find our contact information independently through our website at wellspringcalgary.ca and contact us to confirm.

Below are some additional resources that you may find useful:

 Once again, Wellspring Calgary was not impacted by the breach, but take the protection and use of private data very seriously. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us at communications@wellspringcalgary.ca.

Sincerely,

Patti Morris
Chief Executive Officer
Wellspring Calgary