News & stories, Generosity Incorporated

April 2023

Saint John businesses are giving back, benefiting patients and fuelling innovation in health care.

It’s 10 a.m., and despite her jam-packed schedule, Holly Singh makes time to talk about something deeply rooted in her values and those of her business.

Holly and Ken Singh, owners of Thandi Restaurant.
Holly and Ken Singh, owners of Thandi Restaurant.

She owns and operates Thandi Restaurant in uptown Saint John with her husband, Ken. And like many local business owners, Holly and Ken are deeply invested in the community – always ready to leap into action whenever they see a need.

"I believe we’re on this earth to try to live a good life, to make a difference, and to help others. That’s always been one of my mantras."

-Holly Singh, co-owner, Thandi Restaurant

“I have always tried to be involved in the community. I feel that what you give, you get back tenfold. Ken and I give to our community, and we know that our community will support us in return.”

They’re also acutely aware of how fragile life can be and how urgently important it is to have access to first-class health care, right here at home.

Mr. Singh is undergoing treatment at the Saint John Regional Hospital for cancer and other complicated, life-threatening issues.

“Ken’s diagnosis was basically a death sentence,” Mrs. Singh says. “But from the very beginning he kept a positive attitude and he’d say, ‘This isn’t gonna put me down.’”

The family is very appreciative of everything staff at the hospital have done for him and are determined to give back.

“We feel like the medical staff really care. The concern they show really touches us,” Mrs. Singh says. “When Ken got sick, he said, ‘You know, I’d like to do something for the hospital.’ So that’s what we did.

“We’re lucky and blessed to have a good business. We’ve worked hard all our lives. Our children are all doing well, we feel that we can help others, and that’s what we want to do.”

This past November, the couple hosted their first-ever, and wildly successful, Butter Chicken Friday fundraiser in support of cancer care at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

After the last bite was enjoyed and the final tally was counted, the Singhs were thrilled to make a heartfelt and generous $7,500 donation to support cancer patients at the Saint John Regional Hospital. This, in addition to their support of many other local non-profits, has positively shaped our community.

"When we give, it comes back to us tenfold. When we’re generous with the gifts we have, even more good comes back to us. That’s what we believe."

-Holly Singh, co-owner, Thandi Restaurant

They made their donation during GivingTuesday, taking advantage of a remarkable $20,000 matching gift offer from Saint John LNG.

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that was created in 2012. It falls just after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping days of the year, which reinforces that every act of generosity counts – that everyone has something to contribute toward building a better world.

And while the Singhs don’t like to talk much about all the ways they help others, they appreciate hearing about the impact it is having.

“When Kenny goes to the hospital, he feels great. Everybody knows him and they thank him so much for what we do. He’s shy, though. He doesn’t like to talk about that a lot. But hearing that he’s making a difference makes him feel good,” Mrs. Singh says.

Jamie Gallagher, President and CEO of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation, says he’s impressed at how progressive businesses here – small and large alike – are at giving back.

“Ken and Holly Singh are wonderful examples of entrepreneurs who care deeply about their community. We’re so grateful to them and to all the other leaders, businesses, organizations who give so generously to the Foundation to support our hospital.”

He cites, as one example, Saint John LNG – giving back to the community is built right into the company’s values.

“We understand our responsibilities to be a good citizen in our community and we are committed to being a good neighbour,” says Courtney Jones, General Manager of Saint John LNG.

“We focus our support on youth, community development, education, and health,” Ms. Jones says. “Each year, we set aside a budget for giving back to the community, both through direct contributions and through our employee matching gift program. Quite a few employees also give significant hours helping in the community. Being connected and giving back is a core value,” she says.

“Keeping Saint John and the surrounding areas healthy and giving the best care possible is really big for us,” Ms. Jones says. “Several employees have received care at the Saint John Regional Hospital. We want to keep everybody healthy. We want a thriving community, so supporting health care is high on our list of priorities.”

The pledge to match GivingTuesday donations was just another way for the company to support the hospital, and Ms. Jones says the plan is to keep going.

Staff of Saint John LNG are joined by Andrea Watling of the Saint John Regional Hospital to present their cheque of $20,000 as the matching partner for Giving Tuesday.
Staff of Saint John LNG are joined by Andrea Watling of the Saint John Regional Hospital to present their cheque of $20,000 as the matching partner for Giving Tuesday.

“Our charitable giving and sponsorships help us communicate our values, build awareness for our business and our industry, and build goodwill in our community." Ms. Jones says.

"Partnering with an organization like the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation makes our employees feel good about the company they work for, and because it’s health care, it touches everyone in some way or another."

-Courtney Jones, General Manager, Saint John LNG

In addition to their GivingTuesday gift, Saint John LNG made a leadership gift to The Give: Clinic 1 Expansion campaign, which will directly impact patient care here in our region.

“We’re proud to support the Saint John Regional Hospital. It’s big dollars for us and we really believe we can see the impact. The donations we have made to the Saint John Regional Hospital have been among the most important contributions or series of contributions that we’ve ever done – and we will continue.”

And like the Singhs, Ms. Jones also has a personal connection with cancer.

“Cancer has touched my family numerous times. My mother is currently battling it,” Ms. Jones says. “Supporting cancer care at our hospital is important so we can find a cure for this terrible disease. We need funding going to technology that will improve care for cancer patients in our community. We also need funding to support those who are watching their loved ones fight cancer.”

Holly Singh notes that many local businesses are giving back, which engenders pride.

“We all do our best to support the community. And, like I said earlier, when we give, it comes back to us tenfold. When we’re generous with the gifts we have, even more good comes back to us. That’s what we believe.”

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