Scroll Top

A new chapter for KBNF

Rick’s Heart Foundation (Rick) and Diamond Delivery (Karl) are long time supporters of KBNF. Here at the Foundation we strongly believe…

Rick’s Heart Foundation (Rick) and Diamond Delivery (Karl) are long time supporters of KBNF. Here at the Foundation we strongly believe that everyone should have access to quality healthcare and emergency services. Continue reading for the most recent newsletter from KBNF President and Founder Marj Ratel.

A new exciting beginning for KBNF

As we wound down our tenure at the now famous Barn 3, searching for a new home in the greater Vancouver retail estate market proved to be a seeming insurmountable challenge.  While Aaron, Ross, and many of our board members pursued a solution, it remained elusive until the final hour. As Danny, Ross, Ernie and Henry were loading up the final 5 ton truck with the last of our furnishings in ugly winter weather, my cellphone rang. It was Karl Gillies (Diamond Delivery). A new home had been found.

As Rick Diamond, owner of Diamond Delivery (DD) and KBNF’s leading corporate sponsor, and Karl, DD President, had conferred together, they determined that KBNF’s warehousing and shipping must go on. Momentum could not be broken. Lives were at stake. Considering that the budgets in West Africa health care are insufficient to meet even the basic needs of communities, the impact of our medical shipments on health care delivery in West Africa is without question. Due to the generosity of our BC health authorities, hospitals, businesses and citizens, we are able to provide lifesaving resources to transform and deliver compassionate based health care. Consequently, with all this in mind and their financial commitment, Rick and Karl had broached the need of warehouse space with a corporate friend, John Volken.

When John Volken, former CEO of United Furniture Warehouse, sold his company and retired he donated the entire sum of his personal wealth, approximately $150 million, to charity. His philanthropy through the John Volken Foundation supports two main causes – Lift the Children, funding over 90 orphanages in East Africa, and the John Volken Academy, transforming the lives of young people living with drug and alcohol addictions in Surrey, Phoenix and Seattle. As for the orphanages, their ultimate goal is to help each orphanage become self-sufficient and to encourage and educate the children to reach their full potential.

The long-term residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment and life-skills training program is extremely effective because participants not only overcome their substance abuse, but also receive extensive personal development, career preparation, education and healthy-living practice, all essentials  for permanent recovery.

After considerable discussion and John Volken’s approval, 10,000 sq. ft. of space in the basement of the Academy’s Price Pro store was cleared out for KBNF to move in. As I have reaffirmed to Rick and Karl, KBNF could not do what we do without their dynamic support. Coming on board in 2006, Diamond Delivery has been there for us faithfully year after year and are now fully funding our new location. Additional funds to facilitate shipments is another of Rick’s work in progress

Over the past 2 months, Rose coordinated the unloading of 7 containers into functional designated work spaces.

Welcoming John Mwotassubi as our new warehouse manager.

With the advent of our new home, KBNF needed a warehouse manager. Our Board of Directors is pleased to announce that John Mwotassubi has accepted the position. John comes with us with years of experience and knowledge on systems and implementation of new processes. We are so excited to have him join our team and for you to come and meet him. John and Rose will be working closely together on acquisitions, inventory and container shipments as John becomes the new friendly face at the warehouse. 

Please keep an eye out for updates on volunteer hours and when we will be opening up for groups. We are working on this behind the scenes. We miss each one of you and hope that we can see each other soon in our new home, in a safe way. 

We are so thankful for the provision of medical donations, amazing donors and partnerships that enable us to create medical miracles in West Africa. Friends and family, not conducting neurosurgery missions this year has been devastating for many overseas. Lives have already been extinguished while waiting for a miracle. Crisis in North America is exponential in Africa. A shortage of supplies here equals scant to no supplies in many communities overseas. Our support is more critical than ever. So what we can do right now while under global travel restrictions is ship the life saving equipment and supplies needed for the current need and for our future neurosurgery missions. As we expand and upgrade our warehouse operations and inventory system, our aim is to advance the number of medical containers shipped annually.

We need your financial support. It’s more critical now than at any time in our foundation’s existence. Your donations enable KBNF to provide lifesaving medical supplies and support, helping West Africans launch the infrastructure for neuroscience. Your donation enables our foundation to operate and continue the lifesaving work we do.


Thank you to KBNF and all their volunteers, the impact they are making in Africa is astounding. To stay up to date with all KBNF does check out their Facebook page HERE.

Related Posts