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Family of donors makes sure the community can count on MSH today— and for generations to come

By Vawn Himmelsbach

When Salmaan Alvi brought his three young children to MSH last year, it fortunately wasn’t for a medical emergency. The children were there to hand out teddy bears to patients as part of MSH’s Bear Necessities program, to spread a bit of comfort while raising funds for the hospital.

For Salmaan, it was about giving his children an opportunity to experience the rewards of volunteering, and to know that “every donation in support of a bear hug can make a big difference.” His children are the third generation in his family to give back to the hospital— continuing a tradition started by his father-in-law and a legacy inspired by his mother.

Volunteers and donors are the reason patients and their families can count on MSH today—and for generations to come.

Within Salmaan’s family there are three generations of volunteers and donors. Salmaan is a director on the MSH Foundation Board; he’s also a long-time volunteer and founding member of MSH Leaders — a young philanthropists’ initiative. His wife, Henna, supports MSH Foundation signature events through donations and gifts-in-kind, and together they’re teaching their three children about the importance of giving back.

Salmaan’s mother, Shabana Alvi, is a community volunteer and MSH legacy donor, and his father-in-law, Mohammad Ashraf, is a long-time MSH supporter and former volunteer leader who also served on the MSH Foundation Board.

“It’s important for the sustainability and longevity of the hospital itself and the services the hospital provides,” says Salmaan. “I’m looking at the long-term horizon, not just three to five years out. I plan to be here for the next 50 years, so I want to make sure MSH is there for everybody to access and use, including my kids and grandkids.”

That was also a factor for his mother when deciding on where a legacy donation—as part of her will and estate— would make the most difference.

“When my son, Salmaan, and my grandchildren moved to Markham, this community became a very important piece of our family’s lives. After my granddaughter was born at MSH in 2012, this piece grew even larger, and in my heart I knew that this is where part of my family’s future legacy would be carried on,” says Shabana.

“MSH has proven to be a quality care provider for the community, where accountability, inclusion and diversity play a big role,” she says. Salmaan’s appointment to the MSH Foundation Board also helped to align her legacy giving with MSH. “This would allow my grandchildren and future generations to feel the impact of our family’s giving and inspire them to follow these values I believe so strongly in.”

Read the full article from the Winter 2020 Healthy Together Markham Stouffville Magazine.