Since 2007, a plethora of virtual hugs has gone out to children and families who need them during Sainte-Justine's Mois des Câlins. The contributions of our kind-hearted partners and the outpouring of public support have paved the way for a number of game-changing initiatives at Sainte-Justine.
Sainte-Justine's Mois des Câlins campaign was created 15 years ago with the simple goal of raising funds to support Sainte-Justine and spreading happiness across the province. It didn't take long for it to catch on. As the event has grown and evolved from year to year, it has never lost sight of its core purpose: showing the kids and families of the Sainte-Justine community just how much they are loved. Which is probably why it continues to be so popular after all this time.
The Foundation is extremely grateful for the amazing support of a generous group of campaign partners who have been there from the very beginning, starting with the Jean Coutu Group. We are humbled and grateful for these past 15 years of working together. It's a natural partnership that reflects the values of a company that has always put people first and looked out for the health of Quebecers.
As partners since year one, the Jean Coutu Group is determined to make a difference in the community and to take tangible action to help improve the health and well-being of children and families in Quebec.
The following year, Clarins created its exclusive "Rose Câlins" Lip Perfector for the campaign. Lionel Uzan, General Manager, Clarins Canada, is proud once again to be teaming up with the Foundation in 2021: "Years of faithfully serving a cause that we are very proud of and that is in line with our mission to live beautifully and create a more beautiful world."
Rythme joined in on the fun from the get-go, making sure the campaign was on everyone's lips. As the official media partner, they skilfully crafted a magical connection between Sainte-Justine, families and audiences. Radio has the power to touch listeners, stir up their emotions and open their eyes to new things. It's also perfect for telling stories: stories about courage and determination that drive home the impact donors can have on the children and families of Sainte-Justine.
The Mois des Câlins campaign also brings together a fantastic Hug Squad and all the love and affection they have to offer. They have been talking up Sainte-Justine and the campaign every year for the past 15 years. With their trademark caring and compassion, they reach out to listeners and urge them to respond to this appeal of love. They bring to the microphone stories like young Noah's and explain how young lives have been changed for the better by people's generosity.
Noah, our 2021 Mois des Câlins ambassador
Eight-year-old Noah’s life turned upside down in a matter of minutes. After a day of swimming, he developed an excruciating headache. A few moments later, he had fallen into a coma. By the time he got to Sainte-Justine, his life was hanging by a thread. The diagnosis: a ruptured arteriovenous malformation, which required immediate surgical intervention. After several operations and two long months fighting for his survival at Sainte-Justine, Noah checked into the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre (CRME), ready to relearn the skills of daily living. The next few months were marked by intensive therapy in a new environment. But today, Noah is back home. He and his family are taking things one day at a time, but looking to the future with hope, thanks to the leading-edge and very human care he received.
Humanizing health care, one hug at a time
Thanks to the unwavering support of our campaign partners and the general public, more than 306,900 Lip Perfectors have been sold since 2007, raising a total of $4.5 million. This has been instrumental in introducing important initiatives that have helped thousands of children and families across Quebec.
- 2007–2008: The Peau à Peau project, designed to help parents bond with critically ill newborns through skin-to-skin contact, was implemented.
- 2008–2012: In-depth research on survivors of pediatric cancer was carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Daniel Sinnett, PhD, to help minimize or eliminate the side effects of treatment through the use of precision medicine.
- 2010: A 3D mapping system was acquired for use in highly precise, labour-intensive procedures, thereby increasing the chances of a cure for children with complex heart conditions.
- 2013–2018: Funds were directed toward the Integrated Centre for Child Neurodevelopment (CIRENE), one of the first such centres in the world to bring researchers and healthcare professionals together under the same roof to treat children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
- 2019–2020: Proceeds have helped provide state-of-the-art care with a human touch at the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre (CRME) and ensure Sainte-Justine can make the most of every opportunity to advance pediatric care, now and in the future.
Annual drawing contest: Another way to send a squeeze of support!
In 2014, something new was added to the Mois des Câlins campaign: the "Dessine-moi un câlin" (Draw a Hug) drawing contest. Budding artists from across the province are invited to use their talents to show children with health problems that they are not alone. Young patients themselves are invited to submit their artwork as well. Every year, one "hug" is selected to appear on the box of the Lip Perfector sold as part of the campaign. The 2020 grand prize winner is Colin, whose drawing is featured on the special 15th anniversary Mois des Câlins packaging.
The fact that the public has embraced the Mois des Câlins campaign with such enthusiasm is the reason we have been able to do as much as we have. Donors' contributions are vital to the sustainability of this initiative and to implementing a wide array of projects designed to change children's lives and give them a healthier future. Thank you for your continued support and for sending out an infinite supply of hugs over the past 15 years.