YANA’s compassionate mission grows with community support in the Valley

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, March 13, 2024

Erin Haluschak – Comox Valley Record

As the demand for services grows every year, so does the fundraising goal for the Comox Valley organization whose mission embodies compassion, support, community spirit and practical assistance when it’s needed most.

You Are Not Alone (YANA), is a local non-profit society that provides accommodation and funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel outside the community for medical treatment for a child under 19 or for a pregnant mother says Kelly Barnie, executive director.

“And we do that because the community has our back. When we email our clients and we talk to our clients and we say ‘We’ll be there every step of the way,’ your community is behind you. This is what we mean.”

YANA’s impact on the community is palpable, with countless families testifying to the difference their support has made in their lives.

The purpose of the organization is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation.

What sets YANA apart is its unwavering commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. Regardless of age, background or circumstance, YANA welcomes all families with open arms, ensuring that no one in the community feels alone in their journey.

One of YANA’s most beloved programs is their accommodation facilities, lovingly known as the ‘YANA apartments.’

YANA maintains four fully furnished apartments within walking distance of BC Children’s Hospital and also assists with finding and funding accommodation in alternate treatment destinations.

These cozy, fully furnished apartments provide a home away from home for families traveling to the Comox Valley for medical treatment.

With their warm and welcoming atmosphere, the YANA Apartments offer a comforting refuge where families can rest, recharge and find solace amidst the challenges they face.

Their services are available to anyone in need, regardless of their financial situation, ensuring that everyone can access the support and resources they deserve.

Recently, YANA held an annual fundraiser which raised $232,000 for YANA families, and now the Valley Vonka fundraiser, which launched March 6, has a goal to raise $22,000.

The chocolate-bar-themed fundraiser sees 3,000 Hot Chocolate bars distributed to various retailers throughout the Comox Valley.

Six of the bars contain golden tickets for various prizes, including a $ 1,000 gas card from Peninsula Co-op; a family ski pass to Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Old House Hotel & Spa and OhSpa gift certificates; a two-night stay and a hydropath session at the Kingfisher Resort & Spa for two adults; a $1,000 Quality Foods gift card and a $1,000 gift card from Canadian Tire.

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a not-for-profit organization in the Comox Valley that helps families who need to travel for medical treatment for their children or a pregnant mother.