As Wellspring wraps up its 25th Anniversary, we celebrate our longest consecutive donor, Dr. Mavis Himes, who has been donating every year since Wellspring first opened in 1992. Dr. Himes is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst with a private practice, in addition to being a short-term counsellor at Wellspring Westerkirk House.
As a program leader, donor, and supporter since the early days of Wellspring, we caught up with Mavis to learn more about Wellspring from her unique point-of-view.
“Wellspring is a special place, it is receptive and embracing – there is nothing else like it in the city,” said Mavis when asked what value Wellspring adds to the community. “Wellspring is a place where you can get care for your body, mind and spirit. I think it is important that people have a space where they can share and explore the difficult emotions that come with a diagnosis, and Wellspring offers that supportive space and programming.” Even through the growth over the last twenty-five years, “the spirit, the core values and the original ideals upon which it was founded have remained the same.”
When asked what has kept her around for twenty five years both as a clinician and as a donor, she says “I feel so strongly about the value of this place and what it offers people. I think cancer is one of those transformative experiences in life that causes us to stop and evaluate. Wellspring is a place where people can experience the complexity of reactions that comes up for them through the diagnosis and treatment, and get the support they need during a particularly challenging time. I feel privileged to be able to support Wellspring, and donating is my way of giving back for all that Wellspring has given me. Wellspring has changed my perspective and outlook on life, and I know that the contributions we make as donors are having a real impact in the lives of others.”
“The most rewarding part of my experience with Wellspring has been seeing people down the road, who have worked through the pain and difficulty and experience some relief. That, and interacting with the volunteers and staff who choose to give their time to be part of Wellspring. It’s a special community of people.” Mavis’ advice for anyone who is thinking about becoming a member of Wellspring is simple. “Don’t think. Just come through that door and give it a shot.”
Wellspring is incredibly grateful for supporters like Mavis, whose compassion and commitment has allowed the programming to grow and become available for more people across the GTA. Without government or hospital funding, it is donors that have made it all possible.
When asked what she would like to see in the next 25 years for Wellspring, Mavis humbly added “I can’t say what Wellspring will look like in 25 years, but I am hopeful that we will continue to evolve, while maintaining those core values and principles that Wellspring was built on.”