Hello! Thank you for checking out my fundraising project. I am a BC Registered Acupuncturist and single parent. I have a big love for social justice and community care. After many years of living and working and (often barely) making ends meet in Vancouver, I am embarking on a change of pace and environment. I am leaving the city to build my permanent home and practice in the country, in the gorgeous Similkameen valley.
Community acupuncture is my passion. My long term goal is to open a community acupuncture clinic and low barrier healing retreat. For local folks in the area, and for people needing reprieve from the city.
The Okanagan and Similkameen
The Similkameen Valley is part of the unceded traditional territory of the Upper and Lower Smelqmix (Similkameen) bands of the Syilx, or ?uk?na?qínx (Okanagan) people. The area I am moving to is a 4 hour drive from Vancouver. It is beautiful land where the Cascade mountains meet the desert. It has long been my dream to move closer to the Okanagan, where I was born, to be close to family and still accessible to the city. For a quieter life of growing food and making medicines, while continuing to help bring holistic health care to people. The health sevices situation in the Similkameen area has recently been called a state of crisis. The closest emergency ward presently does not have the resources to be open every day, and like many rural areas, there is a shortage of all levels of health care in the region. Many people seeking services have to travel to neighbouring communities or cities to access health care, and travel is not always possible for people. My aim is to offer sustainable, accessible and low barrier health care that is complimentary to pre-existing services and helps meet the needs of the people.
Acupuncture is a safe, effective holistic therapy developed in China and used around the world for many thousands of years. It consists of stimulating designated points on the body by inserting thin, sterile needles into the skin. Regular acupuncture treatments can promote relief and recovery from a wide range of symptoms, enhance immunity, and support overall health. People receiving acupuncture usually report both short and long term relief from symptoms, and most feel progressively better with each treatment. The effect of the needles is subtle yet profound.
Acupuncture works well with other forms of treatment, such as counseling, physiotherapy, massage, or herbal and nutritional support. People already seeing a doctor or specialist can add acupuncture to their current health care plan. Regular treatments can nurture readiness to tackle deeper issues in one’s life. It is a very easy way for someone to begin or maintain their cycle of self-care.
Typically, acupuncture is done privately while the patient lies down on a treatment table. Community acupuncture means mutiple people are treated at the same time, seated together comfortably in a relaxed environment with a group of their peers. This reduces costs and enables more people to receive treatment in a specific period of time. I offer both private and community acupuncture, according to what is more suitable for whoever I am working with. Acupuncture is covered by most private insurance plans, ICBC, and subsidized by MSP for low income residents of BC.
About my work
I have been providing community outreach acupuncture around the Lower Mainland for several years. I work with grassroots community groups and non-profit organizations to bring services to their members, many of whom experience barriers in accessing health care, most often due to poverty or social stigma. By being mobile, and by offering sliding scale and fully subsidized services, I have been able to offer acupuncture to many people who may otherwise not have the opportunity. My work is informed by the communities I work with, my years as a front line support worker and social justice activist, as well as my own struggles as a young single mother.
I believe in increased accessibility to holistic health services, and patient-centred, community-driven care. I aim to provide service in the Okanagan / Similkameen that will reflect these values and contribute to local diversity and sustainability.
I also look forward to putting my time and energy towards creating a permanent home for myself and retreat for my loved ones. My vision includes organic gardening and natural building, fruit trees and animals. I am building towards these dreams now and I would love nothing more than to share them with my friends, family and communities.
What I am fundraising for
I have decided to try crowdsource fundraising because I believe in the power of community. I don't have a lot of economic resources to draw upon at this time in my life, but I do have skills and experience to offer and a strong desire to work in service of the people and the land. Dedication to my work and my values against rising costs in an expensive city hasn't come without financial hardship. While I have been very fortunate to have support from people who believe in me and the work I do, as a low income single parent I have not been able to be wholly sustainable in the city. I crave a quieter, simpler life. I want to live harmoniously with the land. I would love to build a permanent, secure home and practice, close to family and in a place that I love, while continuing my commitment to community.
I am raising funds to put towards the start–up costs of finding a home and starting a new practice. Specific things I am looking for help with are moving costs, clinic supplies, natural building and organic gardening supplies, and money to put towards a permanent home and work space.
I understand things are tight for most of us. I know I am not the only one who struggles. I am putting out this fundraiser without expectation, but with the humble understanding that any small donation is hugely generous. If you are not able to donate, I would appreciate it if you could help me to pass this along. For any gift you give I offer a gift in return, a heartfelt thank you, some free acupuncture for yourself or a loved one, or a visit to my country retreat! In addition, any contribution I receive is an investment towards the community work I am committed to provide.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my vision.