This is a story about community. The value of partnerships. The importance of connection.

Wednesday 4pm, I receive a call from Mike Shannon, Power To Be’s former Board Chair.  He says he’s working with Starfish Medical on some mechanics for the government.  He tells me he has a box stuck in Vancouver and needs to get it to Victoria.  Mike says, “Dana, I know you have friends at Helijet, do you think you can help us out.”  My answer, “Of course.”  To me it was a no-brainer.

Helijet is a valued partner of Power To Be and has been for many years, true advocates, supporters and champions for our mission.  As well, Helijet has been doing great work over this pandemic.  With COVID-19 severely impacting its business, Helijet has still been offering free flights to healthcare responders, travelling for work.

I connected Mike with Troy MacDonald, Helijet’s Director of Sales.  What I didn’t realize was the urgency of the package and the need for it in Victoria.  Troy let me know that if the shipment could get there by 4:40pm it could make the next flight.  It wasn’t a big package, but the pressure was on to get it there, now being 4:25pm.

The next message from Mike came at 6:37pm and it was a game-changer and a reality check “Got the parts Dana.  Thanks for your help.  One step closer to getting ventilators to those in danger.”  This wasn’t just mechanics for the government, this package was the missing piece to get desperately needed medical supplies to the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then it got even better.  This morning, I received the best text.  A photo of a man with a big smile on his face and what looked like a computer motherboard. The text read, “The small triangular board on the desk is what was on the helicopter and controls breathing for a patient.  Thanks again. Both you and Helijet are contributing to life saving.”


Then an email from Mike, “In the photo attached is Martin Kellinghusen who is an engineer with Starfish Medical who are designing and delivering to the Canadian government medical multi-purpose ventilators that are designed to save patients stricken by COVID-19 and other health challenges. The smile on Martin’s face represents not only the enthusiasm and dedication of the Starfish team as they address this challenge, but resulted last evening specifically because Helijet was able to get the device to us in record time; at no charge incidentally.”

This story not only made my day, but also made me realize how deeply community matters.  It reminded me how something so small can actually be so big, even lifesaving.

This blog post was written by Dana Hutchings, as a fifth generation Vancouver Islander, Dana knows the power of getting outside and sharing those experiences through stories.  She applies her skills for connecting people to stories that inspire and opportunities to change lives.