LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) – A Langley man has used his birthday to help try and connect seniors in care with loved ones amid the pandemic, which is keeping them apart.
Mike Gunderson is going to buy an iPad for seniors to use in order to virtually connect with family members.
He said the idea came to him after Facebook reminded him he could raise money for a good cause on his birthday.
“And I saw somebody had started to fundraise over in Toronto for iPads so that they could hand them out to old folks’ homes so they could actually interact with their grandparents or family members that they are now not able to see,” he told NEWS 1130. “I really resonated with that, because one of my grandparents, I wouldn’t have been able to see.”
The response, he said, was “huge.”
Within the first day, Gunderson said his post was widely shared.
“Which was unbelievable … I didn’t even think 250 people would see that out of my friends, which is crazy.”
He said he was able to hit his goal withing about a day, and the money keeps coming in. Remaining funds, after an iPad has been purchased, will also go toward more good.
“It’s still going on, so, if more comes in by the end of the month, it’s just going to add to another iPad or I’m going to donate the rest to charity,” Gunderson explained. “Probably to the Cancer Society because my mom has cancer and they’ve taken care of her through all of this. It means a lot to me, too.”
This is the first time Gunderson has fundraised for something like this “so publicly.” There was that one time, though, that he donated some money to the Cancer Society in honour of a friend, who is a survivor.
“She’s actually working very closely with this fundraiser,” he said. “She’s finding somebody, for me, to donate this to.”
The friend, he added, works for Providence Health Care, which will help connect Gunderson with a facility in need.
“Initially, I did a shout out the other day asking for any leads on somebody close to me. Most of the homes that people have family in, they are pretty well set. Karen, my friend, reached out and said somebody that would be in need is the Providence Health Care in ICU or respite care, so we’re looking for somebody there that would use that.”
If you’d like to help Gunderson, you can find his fundraiser here.
-With files from Amanda Wawryk