"Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other." - David Spangler
Community outreach is a huge part of our Foundation. It's an essential tool for us to understand the needs of the programs we support and the youth we support. Last week, we spent time with a few of our charitable partners and the youth we support.
It was indeed Christmas in July! Our staff members Bianca Bertagnolio and Jane Hilder loaded up their sleigh and headed to the office of Parents Engaged In Education. Thanks to our unique and generous friends at Hilroy and ACCO Brands, we donated various school supplies to the youth who need them most!
Parents Engaged in Education is an organization whose mission is to empower parents with the skills and knowledge to not only support their own children but, to make the educational experience at school better for all children.
Our charitable partners, One Voice One Team (OVOT), run a co-ed sports and leadership week-long day camp for youth ages 7-13 called S.W.O.L.E. Participants engage in daily fitness and cognitive activities that centre around the SWOLE principles; Self-respect, Working hard, Overcoming adversity, Leading by example and Excellence.
Our OVOT family hosted us for a beautiful team-building lunch with amazing Caribbean food and even better discussion. We were also able to shoot hoops and throw the football around with the campers.
On the weekend, we were honoured to be chosen as the charity of choice for the City Shred Partner Burpee challenge. $1 was donated for every burpee collectively completed. We were joined by youth from our charity partners Y.A.A.A.C.E who dominated the Burpee challenge. Two students spoke to the 1000 participants in attendance, highlighting the importance of our programming and the value of giving back. We're incredibly proud of the two young men.