At the heart of Kelowna General Hospital's history stands Clare Mallow, whose decades-long service and dedication to health care have uplifted and encouraged countless individuals. With her joyful smile and boundless energy, Clare brings true empathy to our world.
Clare's journey into volunteering was prompted not only by personal hardship, but also by the examples others set for her. As a teenager and young adult, she battled serious health issues and had to travel long distances to receive care. During these times, Clare and Edna Orr, her mother, experienced comfort and support provided by many volunteers. Their kindness left Clare with a profound desire to follow suit. She stepped forward to provide hope for others, and never looked back.
A resident of Kitimat, B.C., Clare initially followed in her mother Edna Orr's footsteps by joining the Kitimat Hospital Auxiliary. In 1974, Clare made Kelowna her home and soon joined the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Auxiliary. Her dedication saw her rise to the position of vice-president in 1977, marking the beginning of a long and impactful association with KGH.
Clare's volunteer calling grew beyond the KGH Auxiliary when she joined the KGH Foundation board of directors in 2015. As a director, she has contributed tremendously to the organization's growth and impact and, in acknowledgement of her years of service, Clare was appointed as an honourary board member in 2022.
Now, even in retirement, Clare continues to volunteer at JoeAnna's House, where she and her green thumb lead the team who transform the gardens into a haven of tranquility and healing.
“Volunteering is one of the greatest gifts one can give,” states Clare. “My motivation to help stems from personal experiences. I have faced health challenges where my care was far away. It makes life hard for the whole family. I truly understand the importance of specialized care close to home.”
Through her work at JoeAnna's House, Clare extends a comforting hand to families experiencing the same uncertainties she once faced. The garden is her "happy place," and has become a source of therapy for Clare and a tangible way to show her commitment to providing the healing and serenity families need when they are stressed and far from home.
Clare is also one of the several volunteers who call donors to express the gratitude of the Foundation and the community. Hundreds of donors have heard Clare’s heartfelt thank you and shared their reasons for donating to the KGH Foundation with her.
To further the impact of her lifelong volunteer work and personal legacy, Clare has embraced future giving in her will planning. Through her estate, the Clare & Jack Mallow Supporting Endowment and the Edna Orr Supporting Endowment will be established in memory of Clare’s precious husband Jack and mother Edna. These bequests will ensure perpetual funding in support of advanced medical equipment at KGH and continue the community benefit Clare has spent so much of her life in service of.
“Clare is such a gift and an extraordinary friend of the KGH Foundation,” says Allison Young, CEO of the KGH Foundation. “She is a single flame whose efforts have lit many candles within our community and her story stands as a powerful call to action for others who want to make a difference for health care, close to home.”
If you are inspired by Clare’s legacy of care and want to contribute in your way, the KGH Foundation invites you to find out how you can take action.
To celebrate the miracles this season with a gift, please visit kghfoundation.com/celebrate-the-miracles.
For information about how to leave a gift in your will, visit kghfoundation.com/planned-giving.
For information about how to volunteer with us, visit kghfoundation.com/volunteer.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.