As parents, my husband and I really emphasized, since our children were young, the importance of giving back. Not only by making monetary contributions to the less fortunate, but also by giving our time and devoting effort to causes dear to our hearts and to local charitable organizations. It’s extremely important to give back to our community as it is the bare bone to the future generations that will someday lead our city, province, and country. By showing them the examples of our own contributions, we hope they will, in return as they grow older, give back to their community as much as we did and make an impact on other people’s lives.
My children were very lucky to have their dad coach them hockey and/or soccer with the local house league and competitive teams. He took the time to follow courses offered by the sport associations to be a coach and devoted many hours to practices, games, and in-home game/practice plans. I often heard parents complain that they had paid for their child to play and were now asked to help coach due to the lack of coaching staff or their team would fold. These community sports associations are run by volunteers and need the help of parents to step up and contribute to be successful. We are very lucky in Canada to have so many amazing men and women giving their time so our children can play organized sports.
For myself, I am a strong supporter of giving back to my local food bank. On a monthly basis, I give non-perishable food at a local grocery store that supports the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre. The Centre services include a food and clothing bank in addition to a crisis referral service. It manages a comprehensive range of programs and services thanks to a multidisciplinary group of professionals including social workers (intake), childhood educators, nurses and dieticians (diabetes), speech-language specialists, and youth workers. This large team is led by a management team and supported by an average of 200 volunteers annually. The Centre has become the largest multiservice community resource centre in east end of Ottawa servicing Orléans, Cumberland, Sarsfield, Navan, Vars, and Carlsbad Springs paying particular attention to those most vulnerable and at risk.
From 2009 to 2011, I was the co-chair of the Navan for Hockeyville campaign. In 2011, we helped the community of Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. During these 2 years, we rallied the community to take part in 6 events from organizing a parade, a rally, an old timers hockey game, a hockey day in Navan, a spaghetti dinner, to showcasing the heritage of hockey for the past 100 years.
At each event, I asked the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre Food Bank Program to be present and accept food or monetary donations. They were thrilled to participate! Why you ask? In Canada, hunger affects 1 in 8 families and 1 in 6 children…. Those are pretty high numbers if you ask me. Like elsewhere in Canada, the Orléans-Cumberland’s Food Bank is essential and provides emergency food support to more than 554 individuals on a monthly basis, 42% of them children. The economic times we live in are difficult for many and affect more people than you think. It’s also a difficult time for not-for-profit organizations that rely on food donations, therefore they are in straight need of our support and donations!
Thanks to Maple Leaf Foods and the ““Feed it Forward” contest, this month, I was able to donate $100 of free groceries (via a gift card) to the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre Food Bank Program! Maple Leaf is giving 10,000 families across Canada $100 of free groceries, totalling nearly $100,000 in free groceries across the country!
Maple Leaf launched a Canada-wide Feed it Forward contest to help Canadians “Feed it Forward” and give back to the volunteers that have made a deep impact on their lives or their community with good food.
Maple Leaf Foods wants you to nominate a great Canadian in your community who has gone above-and-beyond to use good food to better the lives of others. Whether it’s a program that delivers nutritional education, nourishes school children, helps those that face hunger, use food as a way to bring people together, and teaches skill building to individuals or community capacity, they want to hear about it!
Share your heart-warming story of a volunteer or individual on the #FeedItForward website so he/she can have a chance to win a $10,000 donation towards his/her organization and enjoy free Maple Leaf groceries for a year. And just by nominating someone, you could have the opportunity to receive free Maple Leaf groceries for a year. The contest ends at 11:59:59 AM (ET) on March 31st, 2016. For more information on the Maple Leaf “Feed It Forward” contest rules and regulations, please visit this page.
What are you waiting for? Go nominate someone today!
This blog post was sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.