What I’ve enjoyed most about working in various Community Relations roles throughout my career is connecting with amazing people who are out there creating opportunities to build up communities. These people and the organizations they support or work for are catalysts for hope on a never ending journey to improve their community and the lives of people around them.
This year with my son starting Senior Kindergarten, true to my nature, I volunteered for the big fundraiser of the year, the Family Fun Fair. It’s been a while since I’ve approached people and companies for donations so I was surprisingly feeling a little daunted. After being on the other side of the request for so long, my first thought went to corporate policies, knowing how businesses try to focus their giving, and for large corporations, their desire to demonstrate impact with community investments. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, a lot of good can be done with long term, collaborative partnerships.
In the case of the Family Fun Fair committee, we were a small but dedicated group of volunteers. What was needed the most was simply the people to take the time to make the requests of local businesses. I thought this would be difficult for a working parent like me, but after some on-line research in the evenings, I headed out with request in hand on a few Saturdays and started pitching to restaurants, dance studios and other companies in the area.
As Torontonians, we are proud of and appreciate the many different and distinct areas of our city, each one being a little community within itself. This concept of community in a big city became more apparent to me in my conversations with the employees, managers and owners of these businesses. Most were more than happy to support a local school and in many cases, support more than one of the local schools.
I’ve always believed that every little bit helps, and that is what drove me to repeatedly knock on doors on my paper route to sell cookies, chocolate covered almonds (by World’s Finest Chocolates – they’re still around today!), and magazines to support my school when I was young.
Getting involved in fundraising for my son’s school has given me more people to celebrate. All donations, no matter how large or small help make a difference.