General News

March 31, 2020 COVID-19 Update

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Our YANA services will continue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and we are doing our part to slow the spread.
Effective immediately, we will open our office in Tin Town by appointment only until further notice.

Most of our support for YANA families can be provided via phone and email. In the event you do need to access our services at the office, we ensure a sanitized environment and will take the appropriate precautions to minimize risks associated with the virus.

To access client care services:
Send an email to or Please include your full name, your child’s full name, your phone number and a description of the need for medical travel you are experiencing.
Call the office line at 250-871-0343 and leave a confidential voicemail including your full name, your child’s full name, your phone number and your email address. The voicemail messages are delivered immediately to our client care team via email. We will return your call ASAP (typically within the hour) Mon-Fri 9:00 am-5:00 pm.

Our office, mailbox and dropbox are being checked regularly. If you have a donation to drop off, please call or email 250-871-0343 or to let us know. Thank you so much for your generosity!
We appreciate your support and understanding, and your help in the coordinated effort to flatten the curve.

Our YANA Board and staff are sending love and good health to everyone in our amazing community during this challenging time 💗

COVID-19 Update

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Our YANA services will continue as normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic but we are doing our part to slow the spread. Extra measures are being taken to clean and sanitize the apartments in Vancouver as families depart.

Much of our support for YANA families can be provided via phone and email. In the event you do need to access our services at the office, we ensure a sanitized environment and will take the appropriate precautions to minimize risks associated with the virus.

Anyone who displays symptoms, has been in contact with someone who displays symptoms or who has recently travelled internationally should first phone us if our services are required.

We appreciate your support and understanding.

Office hours: Tuesdays / Thursdays from 10am – 2pm
Phone: 250.871.0343

For more info on COVID19:

Big Love on 3!

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On every great team, each player puts their hand in for the cheer, and voices rise together to shout their rally cry. Each person in the circle knows if they play their role selflessly, with passion and determination, the result will be a source of huge pride for everyone involved.

And so it is with the 2020 YANA Big Love Benefit! Thank you to every sponsor, donor, attendee, volunteer and supporter who put their hands in and created this year’s record-breaking magical event. This was a big BIG win for YANA families in our community!

Thank you Ali Roddam Photography for capturing the electricity of the night, Jabin Postal Films for allowing everyone to see exactly what the Big Love surrounding YANA means to our community, and Karen at McKinnon Photography for sharing the touching story of one of the beautiful YANA families we all come together to support.


Big Love WestJet Raffle Tickets on Sale Now

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Show your support for children and families in the Comox Valley by purchasing a YANA Big Love WestJet Raffle ticket.  Tickets are $20 each and you can win one roundtrip flight for two to any regularly scheduled WestJet destination!  Only 750 tickets were printed, so your chances of winning are excellent.

You can purchase tickets from our friends at Comox Bike Co., Tin Town Cafe, Edible Island and Seeds Food Market. You can also click HERE to request tickets and a volunteer will contact you to fulfill your order.

Winning ticket will be drawn at the February 28, 2020 Big Love Benefit Event. *Winner does not need to be present at the draw.

Online Auction including 8 tickets to SOLD OUT gala is on NOW

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YANA Online Auction and Bidding Info











From Jan 19 to February 6 (9pm), the whole community can participate in Big Love through the YANA Online Auction. The online auction includes 4 pairs of coveted tickets to the sold out Big Love Gala night! Now everyone can see our community’s generosity, find cool stuff and be part of the BIG LOVE needed to support local families. Get started with the quick registration, then bid early, bid often, and bid big!
Thank you for supporting YANA Big Love!

Find the online auction here:

YANA celebrating its 30th annual Big Love Benefit Feb. 28

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Published by Comox Valley Record – Jan. 17, 2020

“The extra touches that the committee has added this year are going to knock some socks off.”

“VIP” table bidding winner Ronni Lister shows YANA Big BIG love at the 2019 gala! Photo credit: Ali Roddam.

YANA is set to host the 2020 Big Love Benefit, an annual gala dinner and auction in support of local children and families.

It all started with YANA’s founder Sandra Williams’ brilliant idea of writing to celebrities for signed donations and auctioning them off.

Thirty years later, the gala event has become the hottest ticket in town that now raises in excess of $100,000 for YANA’s accommodation and family funding programs.

Tickets for the event are available online only through on Sunday January 19th at 10:00am sharp.

“The 2019 event sold out in less than a minute, so we’re encouraging people to set their alarms and keep their clicking and typing fingers warmed up and ready,” said You Are Not Alone Executive Director Kelly Barnie.

Event attendees will fill the Florence Filberg Centre on February 28th, and will be treated to a magical night.

The highlights of the evening include a mouth-watering dinner by Tria Fine Catering, a touching photo slide show presentation showcasing a courageous YANA family through the eyes and lens of the multi-talented Karen McKinnon, and a rousing live auction led by the legendary Dave Stevens.

Veteran YANA volunteer, current board member, and lead auction volunteer Brenda Hunt hints that a few other surprises are in store for the 2020 event as well.

“The extra touches that the committee has added this year are going to knock some socks off,” said Hunt.

The Gala night on February 28th is the signature event of the Big Love Benefit fundraiser, but it’s only one of the ways that supporters in the Comox Valley and beyond can show their love for local families.

“We helped families with almost 600 medical trips last year, the majority requiring overnight stays,” noted Barnie. “The rising costs and limited availability of accommodations put even more pressure on our resources than ever before. We’re counting on support for our Big Love Online Auction and our Westjet Raffle to make sure we can meet the needs of our families.”

The Online Auction kicks off January 19th and features gorgeous artwork, one of a kind collectibles, and valuable gift certificates.

“There are even 4 pairs of tickets for the Feb 28 gala night up for grabs on the online auction,” notes Hunt. “The online auction closes on Feb. 6 at 9:00pm, so bid early, bid often, and bid big.”

YANA volunteers will also be selling raffle tickets for a Westjet “Gift of Flight” starting Feb 6.

The winning ticket holder will receive one roundtrip flight for two guests to any regularly scheduled WestJet destination. Tickets are $20 each and chances of winning are excellent with only 750 tickets printed.

YANA’s purpose is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation for any Comox Valley family with a child or a pregnant mother needing medical care away from home. YANA maintains four furnished apartments near BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and also provides accommodation in Victoria, Nanaimo, and in other treatment locations.

Buy gala tickets, bid on the Big Love Online Auction and order Westjet Raffle tickets at For more information, and to donate or volunteer, email or call 250-871-0343.

Congratulations 2019 Christmas Crackers Ring Winner – Teresa Laws!

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The ring, and the whole story, were a perfect fit for this year’s winner of the YANA Christmas Crackers grand prize.

Longtime Island resident Teresa Laws and her husband had lived in both Gold River and Saltair before making their home in the Comox Valley about 2 years ago. As newcomers to the community, they had heard amazing stories of the help and support YANA provides to local families. When Teresa heard the account of how YANA had helped her own daughter’s friend when they were in need, Teresa knew for sure she wanted to help support YANA however she could.

The notice of the YANA Christmas Crackers going on sale went out, and Teresa excitedly made a trip to 40 Knots Winery to pick 20 crackers up for their family’s dinner. She ended up arriving before the delivery of the crackers had even made it there yet, so she asked them to put some on hold for her. In the two days until she went back in to pick them up, she started talking to friends and family about what an awesome idea the Christmas Crackers were, and ended up putting another 25 on hold to pick up for others too.
Teresa and her family gathered to share a beautiful meal and a wonderful time together, and as the excitement with everyone opening their crackers started to build, Teresa’s son-in-law decided to record the fun.

What an awesome AWESOME moment they captured!!

When Teresa came in to pick up her beautiful new ring, it became even more clear that this win was meant to be. Not only is the gorgeous centre stone ruby her birthstone, but the ring was a perfect fit!

Congratulations Teresa, and THANK YOU for your support!  

Thank you as well to our sponsors Paul Ardron and Kirk Campbell from IG Wealth Management, our volunteer campaign coordinator Robbie Rusk, and to every purchaser, seller, donor, and crafter who made this fundraiser possible.  Together, you have raised over $15,000.00 for YANA’s accommodation and family funding programs that help local families when they need it most. 

Comox Fire Rescue recycling trees for YANA

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Originally published by – Dec. 9, 2019

Comox Fire Rescue is not only recycling your Christmas trees but also raising money for a local charity.

Comox Firefighters will host their annual Christmas Tree recycling project on January 4th and 5th with 100 percent of the proceeds going to YANA (You Are Not Alone).

YANA 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.

Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner says the initiative is a win/win for everyone.

“We run (the trees) through a chipper and we recycle those malts into the parks department here in Comox and then we ask for people to donate cash which goes 100 percent to our local charity YANA,” said Schreiner.

He added that it’s also a great way to make sure the trees get taken care of responsibly.

“In years past some people would burn them or leave them outside their homes so this is a good effective way to get rid of that product.”

You can donate your tree by dropping it off at the Comox Fire Rescue station during the first week of January, or by calling the department to schedule a pickup.

Last year, the Christmas Tree recycling project raised more than $4500.

5000 YANA Christmas Crackers on sale NOW

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5000 lovingly handcrafted YANA Christmas Crackers are on sale now throughout the Comox Valley. Find prices, retail locations and grand prize info here:

Christmas Cracker Drop-In Sessions Complete

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HUGE thanks to every volunteer who has come to our drop-in Christmas Cracker crafting sessions and group bookings!

The Christmas Crackers are almost complete, so DROP-IN SESSIONS ARE CANCELLED for the remaining dates (November 1, 4, 6 and 8).

Group bookings will continue, however, once this year’s crackers are done, groups will be asked to assist with preparation tasks (measuring, cutting, packaging etc) for next year’s fundraiser.

For information about prizes and about where to buy YANA Christmas Crackers, please see the Christmas Crackers Event Page