Eileen Gormley followed her heart from Northern Ireland to Toronto. After experiencing freezing rain, however, her heart had a rethink and eventually led her to Victoria with her family. She loved it here and worked as the Office Manager at First United back when the Rev. Lawrence Moon was in charge of the Open Door.
“We hosted monthly dinners for the homeless, so I saw the need firsthand,” Eileen remembers. “It’s an ongoing need, unfortunately. But today, the services provided by Our Place have expanded significantly. I think it’s great there are now staff who help deal with mental health issues. So much stems from those.”
“Currently, the pandemic is attacking everyone’s mental health. Even deciding to go out and get groceries is a big decision now,” she says. Pausing a moment, she adds, “Luckily, I have the money for groceries. Not everyone does. I think those people need to be in our thoughts and actions now and in the future when the challenges might be just as big or bigger.”
A decision to make a bequest to Our Place made sense to Eileen: “I just thought that, if I had anything left in this world, I could leave a little something to continue to help those facing poverty and homelessness.”
The process is simple enough. “If you’ve got a will, it really doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to put in a legacy gift,” she explains. “It makes me feel that what I’ve done while I’m alive will continue after I’m gone. Those values are important to me.”
Eileen’s big heart has since led her to a retirement in Parksville where she gardens, trips over her coffee table, and continues to support Our Place because, “It’s important for all of us who can to support the work.”