LEGACY GIVING CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION Karl: a life turned around
Karl Koenigbauer has hope where once there was only loss. A little over two years ago, Karl was an alcoholic and had lost every- thing – his money, his job, his home, his life. Then, after a year of homelessness, Karl moved into Willowbridge Transitional Housing program, created and operated by CMHA Kelowna. “At Willowbridge, I learned how to depend on myself rather than de- pending on others.Willowbridge gave me hope and helped me to start my new life.” As part of his program at Willowbridge, Karl participated in many of the activities and skill-building opportunities provided. “The staff have the tools to help, but you’re the one that has to put in the effort.”
Along with establishing boundaries and learning how to communi- cate his needs, Karl says the most important skill he believes he is tak- ing away from his experience is patience, both with himself and oth- ers.
After completing a rigorous application process, Karl was selected as the newest tenant at Rosemead Apartments, CMHA Kelowna’s long-term housing for people with mental health issues living on lim- ited incomes. Karl, with the right help and supports, has been ableto regain his
life, dignity and belief in himself. Today, Karl has been sober for more than two years, is enjoying his
new home and has just begun to participate in the Wellness Development Centre at CMHA’s Sutherland location.He has expressed a great deal of appreciation for the help and support from the staff and has become stronger as a person in turn. Prior to and during his stay at Willowbridge, Karl faced and has overcome a great number of obstacles and health issues, including maintaining his sobriety. “It wasn’t easy, and there were a lot of roadblocks,” he admits, “but
you’ve always gotta stay positive.” After building skills and confidence at Willowbridge, Karl now feels better equipped to live out in the community on his own and looks for- ward to seeing what his future will bring. Karl is only one of more than 2,000 people helped by CMHA Kelowna in the last year through CMHA’s wellness programs, housing and nav- igation services and public education initiatives. Few people plan for a mental health crisis, yet one in five Canadians
will experience a mental health issueserious enough to require treat- ment.Th
is means that every one of us is affected by mental health. Your gift to CMHA Kelowna helps Karl and so many others to re-
ceive the hope and help they need to live a life defined by resiliency and strength, rather than illness and struggle. To learn more about CMHA or to give financially, go to www.kelowna.cmha.bc.ca
or call 250-861-3644.
Planned giving is not only for
the wealthy Every gift makes a difference. What could your legacy do? — Provide counselling to a child who has been abused or neglected — Create bursaries and scholar- ships for deserving students — Support children’s programming at a local arts centre — Provide an abandoned animal with shelter and food — Give someone less fortunate the courage to turn their life around
9 THE OKANAGAN SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2012
We all want to see an end
to cancer. Do you want to do more but don’t know how? There is a way. Leave a gift in your will.
Thanks to an exclusive arrangement between the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Free Wills Network, if you are 55 or older you can have your will prepared or updated for free. For full details please contact Toni Andreola at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 1 800 663-2524.
Gifts to the Canadian Cancer Society fund research and prevention initiatives and help families like the Kents create life-changing memories at Camp Goodtimes.
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