I believe all of us have something we can give back so that others have enough. It may be volunteering with an organization, creating opportunities for others, or uniting with fellow members in our communities for a particular cause. No matter the way or reason, I’ll always highly regard the people who selflessly give back.
Below are a few of the programs and organizations I give back with. If there’s one that particularly resonates with you, I’d love to hear more about it (probably the best way is through Twitter).
The Energizer Fitness Club
The Energizer is a not-for-profit, member-led organization located in the bottom of ATB Place in Edmonton. I’ve been a member of the Energizer since December 2013 and have had the privilege to be part of the Board since November 2014. In my time, we’ve supported members through change and disruption, made it a priority to actively engage and listen to members, and sought to create an open, people-focused environment on the Board. I got involved because it fuels my passion for health and wellness and lets me connect with the people who make up the Energizer community.
Junior Achievement Northern Alberta and NWT
Junior Achievement is an international organization in over 120 countries whose purpose is to link education with the business world. They recruit local volunteers of all ages and stages of their careers to teach students about about business, finance, leadership, and other life skills that will set them up for success. Since 2010, I’ve been heading into one or more elementary, junior high, or high school classes in the Edmonton area each year because I believe the success of our future leaders depends on us providing them with the tools and knowledge to step confidently into the world.
Edmonton YWCA “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”
In 2009, the Edmonton YWCA hosted its first “Walk a Mile in HER Shoes” event, adding to the ever-increasing number of men who participate around the world. The purpose of Walk a Mile is to raise awareness and money to prevent domestic violence and abuse against women and children and to support those who are escaping it. I’ve been involved since 2018 because I believe women and children should always feel safe, secure, and loved at home. And I believe men have a role to play to show up as friends, partners, spouses, husbands, and fathers; use our voices to denounce domestic violence; and take action to effect change. We are stronger together and this is one way we show the world.
Holiday Hamper Program by Junior Chamber International
Since 2003, the Holiday Hamper Program by JCI has made a difference in the lives of Edmonton families in need during the Christmas season. We signed up in 2013 to become Hamper Elves and have been supporting local families each year: we shop for groceries and small gifts, head to the pickup spot on delivery day (which is teeming with a powerful spirit of community and goodwill) to pick up turkeys, roasting pans, and fresh produce, and head out to deliver the hamper. This is one small way I can help others have enough, especially at Christmas time.
In late 2017, I got involved with the Ellevate team member network at ATB Financial whose purpose was to lift women up, encourage the promotion and advancement of women, and support women as allies by overcoming barriers and unconscious biases in the workplace. After leaving ATB, I’ve carried that same commitment to allyship where we encourage men and women to use their voices, to stand up as visible allies, and be open in their conversations and actions that support and elevate women. My drive to give back in this way is to help transform work environments for my colleagues today and for the women (and men) walking into those environments tomorrow.