ACT/UCT donate $3,500 to Mont St. Joseph

Jason Kerr
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Mont St. Joseph Home in Prince Albert is a little bit closer to achieving their ceiling track lift goal.

Members of the ACT/UCT Prince Albert Club #1029 presented the Mont St. Joseph Foundation with a donation of $3,500 on Tuesday.  In the front row, left to right, are Mont St. Joseph residents Julia Thimsen, Madeline Gerow, Robert Stewart, and ACT/UCT secretary Morris Hesje.  In the back row, left to right, are Mont St. Joseph board trustees Glenn McMullen and Jacqui Wiesner, along with ACT/UCT treasurer Doug Gent. 

The organization wants to have lifts in 100 of its 120 rooms, and came that much closer on Tuesday when the Associated Canadian Travellers and United Commercial Travellers club of Prince Albert (ACT/UCT) donated $3,500 towards the cause.

“We’re blessed, quite frankly, with the support we receive from the community,” Mont St. Joseph executive director Brian Martin says.  “We would be in serious serious trouble if we didn’t have that kind of support.”

The track lifts make it easier for residents to get in and out of bed, as well as do things like roll over or shift position.  It costs around $5,500 just to purchase and install a lift in one room, something Martin says they couldn’t afford without help.

“The generosity is critical to our residents’ well being,” he says.  “We don’t get this kind of support without these community groups.”

These lifts will do more than just benefit residents.  They’ll also make life easier for the caregivers at the home.  Martin says back injuries caused by lifting and moving residents are common among caregivers, and these lifts are helping eliminate that problem.

“We’re seeing a reduction in the amount of injuries,” he says.

The ACT/UCT says they’re just happy to help.  They fund several projects in the Prince Albert area, like the Pineview Terrace Long-term Care Home and the Prince Albert Group Home.

“We had some money we wanted to donate locally and this was one we chose,” ACT/UCT secretary Morris Hesje says.

“Like every service club in town we try to keep it local as much as possible,” treasurer Doug Gent adds.

The Associated Canadian Travellers formed in the early ’30s to help travellers buy insurance.  In 1934 they began supporting the Anti-Tuberculosis League, and continued to support its predecessor, the Lung Association of Saskatchewan.

In 1991 they amalgamated with the United Commercial Travellers, and as of 2009, the seven active ACT/UCT clubs in Saskatchewan had raised more than $2 million for the Lung Association of Saskatchewan.  There are currently five clubs in the province, with a combined total of around 200 members.

Donating money for track lifts may seem odd for a group devoted to lung diseases, but Gent says they just want to help Prince Albert wherever they can.

“I only wish we could fund them more,” he says.

However, that’s enough for Martin and Mont St. Joseph.  He says local groups like ACT/UCT are doing everything they can to help, and that’s important to remember.

“People in here are so appreciative of the support.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Associated Canadian Travellers, Lung Association of Saskatchewan Pineview Terrace Long-term Care Home Anti-Tuberculosis League

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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