‘I think people are realizing how important severe mental health issues are right now,’ says organizer of annual auction
Last week Angie Green-Hill hosted her annual Facebook auction to help raise money for mental health services at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH).
Green-Hill’s goal was to raise $7,500, but the grand total exceeded expectations beyond her wildest dreams. Green-Hill estimates the auction raised a whopping $20,050.
“It was a little overwhelming, I was in shock,” Green-Hill said.
“I cried happy tears. I didn’t expect this result at all, I was praying for maybe $10,000.”
This year’s total is the most the auction has raised in its five-year history. Over the years, Green-Hill estimates her auction has now raised $72,550 for OSMH.
Green-Hill believes the pandemic has shone a light on mental illness over the last 15 months which is resulting in more awareness and greater support for initiatives like her auction.
“I think people are realizing how important severe mental health issues are right now. I think family and friends are realizing how important it is to get this kind of money to the hospital to create a better mental health support system for Orillia,” she said.
“People are going above and beyond to help because it’s going toward such a good cause; everybody knows somebody who has been affected by mental illness, especially now.”
OSMH officials have expressed surprise and excitement to Green-Hill with her efforts.
“The funds are so important right now. I know it’s going toward a few special care rooms, some furniture, and down in the ER they are making two rooms just for mental health walk-ins,” Green-Hill explained.
Green-Hill said she couldn’t pull off such a successful auction on her own, and credits assistance from her husband, Chris Hill, friends Erin Abbott, Eva Thompson, Nicole Goodman, and Melissa McIntyre, and Northern Birch Boutique owner Leslie Newhall, who makes a large donation each year.
“I can’t do this without the help of my little team. They help me get donations and they help with the Facebook auction. Their support is so heartwarming,” Green-Hill said.
Green-Hill expects to run the auction again in May 2022, when she will once again try to raise crucial funds to help support those with mental illness in the Orillia community.
“This makes me want to do it again every single year. It’s worth every minute of the hours and hours of work that it takes to organize,” she said.