Meet a CBR Member: Mr. James (Jim) Humphries

By CBR Health & Wellness Committee

At the Centre for Blood Research (CBR), the holiday season was inaugurated on December 7th, 2018. We all came together around the Christmas tree to enjoy our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange. This kind of giving and sharing is a form of “investment in others” that can yield big returns in our own happiness and overall wellness, as described by Dr. Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Dr. Elizabeth Dunn of the Department of Psychology at UBC in their book “Happy Money: The New Science of Smarter Spending.”

CBR members are not new to the concept of “investing in others”; in fact this is our year round tradition! We often carve out time to help one another meet deadlines and simply raise each other’s spirits. The past few weeks, our “take-two initiative” further proved to us just how much our community values one another. This initiative was organized by the CBR Health and Wellness Committee where CBR members were provided with sweets that they can give to others as a form of appreciation to those that go the extra mile for others. We went through a couple of large bowls of assorted holiday sweets already! The Health and Wellness team encourages our community to keep “investing in others” especially in this warm season of giving and sharing.

Our community also consists of many members who are involved in various charitable organizations, whether local or far away. Among the extensive list of CBR do-gooders, Mr. James (Jim) Humphries from the custodial team is truly one to highlight. He is a firm believer in investing in others and he does this by giving to the Sefton Village Children’s Home in Isabela, Philippines. Sefton Village was established through the support of the Helga Mosey Memorial Trust as part of their charitable mission to help poverty-stricken children and young people. It has been a home and shelter for many, including abandoned newborns and children from abusive homes. The children can stay at the village or safely transition to homes of loving adoptive parents.

The Health and Wellness Committee recently interviewed Mr. Jim Humphries to learn more about his charitable activities relating to Sefton Village.

How long have you been with UBC and what do you enjoy about working at the CBR?

I have been at UBC for 15 years. I like the CBR because even though a lot of wonderful people come and go, it still feels like a family.

What prompted you to give, especially to the Sefton Village Children’s Home in Isabela, Philippines?

I am motivated to give partly due to my personality and upbringing. Growing up, I spent some time in an orphanage and this experience allowed me to understand the needs of some of the children. The reason I support the Sefton Village Children’s Home is accidental. Five years ago, I visited the Philippines with my family, and one day, I noticed a rundown building. I began asking questions. The following day, I was able to pay a visit and observe the children living there. I soon learned about their many needs, ranging from medical needs, to educational support, to everyday items. Since then, I frequently ship packages to the organization and three years ago I traveled back to Isabela to see how the children are doing.

What do you pack in the boxes?

I usually pack crayons, books, toys, used clothes, or anything else a kid might want/need. This is usually achieved by finding good sales at different stores.

What are some challenges you are currently facing to continue your support to the orphanage?

I am trying to find a better way to get the shipments out, because shipping cost is the biggest hurdle of this process. A small box costs over $100 to ship and I ship about 6 to 7 boxes yearly!

How has your life been enhanced by giving to this orphanage and other initiatives?

I really enjoy giving! In particular, when giving to the orphanage, I get a lot of satisfaction when I see the children’s happy faces!

Have CBR members participated in your endeavours previously?

Throughout the year, they support me a lot by donating items to fill up boxes I place on the 4th floor by the women’s washroom in the west wing. When I initially asked if the CBR would allow me to put a box there, the feedback I received from Dr. Ed Conway was very positive and very encouraging for me to stay committed to giving!

As we head into the holiday season, the CBR Health and Wellness Committee would like to thank Jim Humphries for the opportunity to learn about his giving endeavours. Also, we would like to recognize all our other do-gooders for their contributions to our community and to the world in so many different ways. As we transition into the New Year, may this season be time to prioritize our time and resources in a way that would maximize our health, wellness and happiness!

Please consider donating to Jim’s box 🙂

Wishing you a joyous holiday season!