30 Donor Stories – Better to Give Than To Receive

Barb Craig worked as a Registered Nurse here at Street health for over a decade, retiring in 2007. That year, a Toronto Star profile described her well, “A lot of her clients call her “Mom” because she gives them special attention and help. She takes them to doctor’s appointments, or visits them at their homes, in rooming houses, subsidized apartments or ravines.” Barbs work with the homeless inspired her colleagues and many of her friends.

It was through their friendship with Barb Craig that Thelma and Arthur first learned of the work that Street Health does. “Barb was a compassionate nurse who worked at Street Health for 12 years providing unconditional support to hundreds of homeless individuals,” recalls Thelma. “I was an occupational therapist in the community, but when Barb would tell me about her efforts, I realized that her work focused on an essential part of healthcare that wasn’t on anyone’s radar at that time. It makes me annoyed that the government still doesn’t do more to help prevent and support people who are homeless.” 


While Thelma and Arthur’s donations to Street Health were triggered by this connection, the pressing need for Street Health’s services became more apparent when they moved into the downtown core. “We’ve lived downtown for 13 years now and we still see people everyday who are suffering and don’t even know where they are. They need help that goes beyond receiving some change for their next meal. We’re so glad that Street Health combines the nursing and mental health components. This is the support that is needed so desperately.”

“We were raised in families that lived by the philosophy that it is better to give than to receive. We still believe this, so we are pleased to provide ongoing support to Street Health and to a downtown-area school. It is reassuring for individuals to know that there is someone out there who cares.”

Caring donors make a difference in the lives of many. Thank you to Thelma, Arthur and all Street Health donors.