Thanks to all who volunteer!

7 04 2014

Volunteer Week Logo





5 Days in Tucson

5 03 2013

After a few years of waiting and wanting, I finally got the opportunity to travel to Arizona last week to take in one of the amazing immersion courses offered by Hildy Gottlieb and the team at Creating The Future (www.creatingthefuture.org). It was worth the wait. Described as a course for “changemakers”, the week brought six of us together (the immersion courses are always limited to a maximum of 10 participants) with Hildy and with CTF co-founder Dimitri Petropolous for an up-close-and-personal exploration of the values, principles, approaches, and thinking that help to aim us (and others) towards our highest potential. Hard work, that. But when done in the company of awesome thinkers and community builders, it was both exhilarating and transformational. I came away feeling like I’d got my mojo back…inspired to reach higher and inspirebetter equipped to bring clarity and vision to my life, my profession, my community. How awesome is that!? The work Hildy and Dimitri are doing has resonated for me since I first stumbled upon The Polyanna Principles and began to explore the thought framework behind Creating The Future. What they’re doing is open and accessible – meant to walk the talk and act as a living laboratory so that we can all see what it looks and feels like to engage community and create an intentional future. Even their board meetings are completely open, online, and welcoming for anyone who cares to join them (just one of many examples of their efforts to show and model while they do). I think it’s the authenticity behind all of this work that first drew my attention and continues to engage me most.

Thanks Hildy and Dimitri. And thank you to the amazing changemakers I had the privilege of spending this wonderful week with. I can’t wait to apply my learning, to hear about your successes, and to build on what we started.





LAST CHANCE – “inside the ropes” at the RBC Canadian Open!

15 07 2012

Time is running out for purchasing any of the following amazing experiences that offer insider vantage points at Canada’s national tournament July 23-29th…and each package generates a significant donation for the Community Child Abuse Council, the Local Charity Partner of the 2012 RBC Canadian Open.

Honorary Observer – you and a guest join one of the afternoon pairings on Thursday, July 26th for a rare opportunity to be right in the middle of the action alongside PGA Tour pros. Only one package, for two people, available.

Up Close & Personal – be part of a meet and greet opportunity with PGA Tour pros on July 25th at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club…pick up tips and pointers from the game’s best, get inside the ropes and have access only a few get to experience in a lifetime. Only a few spots left.

Caddy Experience – for the avid golf fan, this is your chance to walk the course and live the game alongside the best on the tour…only a few spots left.

For full details and pricing please contact Karen by Tuesday, July 17th at 12 noon – 905-523-1020 ext. 11 or karen.smith@childabusecouncil.on.ca

Come out and enjoy a unique experience at the 2012 RBC Canadian Open and help support vital child abuse prevention, education, and treatment programs…a win-win for all.

Thanks.





Volunteers…the Heart of the OPEN

29 04 2012

The 2012 RBC Canadian Open (July 23-29) will be an exciting week of golf, and also an unprecedented week of fundraising for this year’s Local Charity Partner, the Community Child Abuse Council. Recruitment is now underway to assemble a team of volunteers willing to help the Council on-site during the week of the tournament…all part of the Council’s Heart of the OPEN Campaign to raise funds in support of child abuse education, prevention, and treatment programs. Can you spare some time to help out that week? If so, please visit the Council’s web site (www.childabusecouncil.on.ca) and look for the green “Volunteers” button on the home page…that will link you to a volunteer portal where you can register and join the team. There will be shifts each day, from Monday to Sunday, requiring more than 200 volunteers in total. All the action takes place at the beautiful Hamilton Golf & Country Club (in Ancaster), where volunteers will have a chance to soak up the atmosphere at one of the world’s leading golf tournaments before/after their shifts. So, please consider coming out to help, and know that each moment you give to the Council as a volunteer will directly help to make sure vital services are available to abused children and youth when they need them. THANK YOU!





Campaign officially launched…and you can help!

9 04 2012

The Community Child Abuse Council’s Heart of the Open campaign kicked off officially today, beginning an unprecedented effort to raise funds in support of child abuse education, prevention, and treatment programs. Details about the campaign – and how you can help – are  posted on the Council’s web site: www.childabusecouncil.on.ca.

 

In partnership with the 2012 RBC Canadian Open, the Council is selling “inside the ropes” experience packages, corporate hospitality packages, and group tickets that get golf fans up close and into the action for the RBC Canadian Open’s return to the Hamilton Golf & Country Club, July 23-29. The Council’s team of volunteers will also be on-site at the tournament selling reuseable water bottles and purple awareness ribbons. Proceeds from all campaign activities will support vital prevention, education and treatment programs for child and youth victims of abuse and trauma.

A sizeable lead-off gift from RBC will enable the Council to enhance its current programs and services, but our community has an opportunity to join with RBC and realize an even greater result by supporting the Council’s campaign. Children as young as 3 years of age are currently waiting several months for trauma treatment, and the education and prevention initiatives so crucial to fighting child abuse are in need of financial investment. Remember, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually victimized before reaching adulthood. Here in the Hamilton area, that translates into a significant

number whose lives are affected – shouldn’t we be able to help each and every one of them?

We may never see another opportunity like this one to respond as a community and invest in the lives of our youngest and most vulnerable members – please check out the many ways you can help to support the campaign, and help the Council in its efforts to create a community free of child abuse

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Leaders for Kids

4 04 2012

I had the pleasure of presiding at the induction of two new Leaders for Kids today at a breakfast event hosted by students at Mohawk College. Leaders for Kids is an initiative of the Community Child Abuse Council, bringing together community leaders from all walks of  life in support of the Council’s vision of a community free of child abuse. These are individuals who step up, speak out, and lend their support to the Council’s work with child and youth victims of sexual abuse and trauma. They go above and beyond, and are recognized as Leaders for Kids in appreciation of their commitment and contributions.

Today’s honourees were Laura Gainey and Vince Isber from RBC, who were both instrumental in the Council’s selection as Local Charity Partner for the 2012 RBC Canadian Open. They join a group of bighearted and generous friends to the Council, all tremendous partners who set an example for community involvement and leadership. Laura Gainey is the first Honourary Leader for Kids ever inducted into this group. In fact, the Council has never before included anyone from outside the Hamilton community. But Laura has embraced our work and supported our efforts in influential ways, and you would be hard-pressed to guess that she wasn’t a Hamiltonian if observing her commitment to local children. Vince Isber is an active and respected community booster, whose involvement with numerous community organizations and projects is admirable. Vince has stepped forward to support the Council in generous ways, and is coordinating the involvement of RBC employees from across this region in the Council’s Heart of the Open fundraising campaign.

These two Leaders for Kids exemplify what it means to get behind a cause and are demonstrating what is possible when leaders offer their talents and ideas to support an important community issue. Laura and Vince visited the Council several months ago, and showed a keen interest in its programs and services provided to abused children and youth. They asked thoughtful questions and followed up by taking action on the things they learned that were needed in order to meet the needs of more youngsters affected by the trauma of abuse. They deserve the honour they received today, and they join an impressive group of like-minded community members who are making a difference each and every day in the fight against child abuse. Congratulations Laura and Vince, and thank you to all our Leaders for Kids.





Feed The Dream

15 04 2011

Did you know that in Hamilton more than 23,000 students get a breakfast, lunch and/or snack each day at their local school or community centre? Many of these kids, 1 in 4, live in poverty. Others lack the required nutrition to get them through the day because busy lives, work schedules, or stressful home situations get in the way. Hamilton Partners in Nutrition (HPIN) provides nutritional meals and snacks to students across this community, funded largely through provincial money but relying also on donations and fundraising. Rising food costs require ongoing efforts to raise money and a significant dependence on volunteer dedication.

On Saturday, June 18th you can support their work by supporting their Feed The Dream Auction. It will be held at Hamilton’s Discovery Centre and will include both silent and live auction events as well as entertainment and hors d’oevres. Opportunities to help include buying event tickets, donating auction items, volunteering for the evening, or advertising in the auction brochure. EnMark Associates is pleased to be donating an auction item, and challenges readers of this site to do the same.

Full details can be found at www.partnersinnutrition.ca or by calling 905-522-1148, ext. 301.  Be sure to find out about the special pre-auction cruise aboard The Harbour Queen.

There are more than 100 student nutrition programs in Hamilton, and as of June 2010 they serve 447,183 breakfast meals and 650,690 snacks with the help of 6,695 volunteers. Parents alone contribute more than 45,000 hours of volunteer time, estimated to represent more than $750,000.

 

Karen’s recent work has included a project with the Hamilton Community Foundation and area stakeholders to develop a universal school-based nutrition program in Hamilton. Buildiing from what is already in place, the initiative aims to make nourishment available to all elementary school students (secondary school population would come next) and to help the community move forward towards the goal of being the best place in which to raise a child. Watch this blog and the Hamilton Community Foundation’s web site (see link at right) for updates on the project.





A few bad apples…

14 03 2011

March is Fraud Prevention Month, prompting a quiz sponsored by CanadaHelps and Capital One concerning charitable giving. To take the online quiz and see how much you know about charitable fraud, click here: http://www.canadahelps.org/.

Charity fraud is rare in Canada despite media coverage that might suggest otherwise. In more than 20 years working in the charitable sector, with dozens and dozens of organizations, I have never once come across actual fraud. We have a reasonably strict system of monitoring and enforcement here in Canada, making it tough to scam donors or operate fraudulent charities. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) pulls the plug on those who try, resulting in loss of charitable status or revoked registration.

Mark Blumberg’s Canadian Charity Law List for this month includes examples of this enforcement in action. “CRA has revoked the registration of The Organ Donation & Transplant Association of Canada for excessive fundraising and administrative fees and for involvement in an ‘international donation arrangement'”. Apparently this organization ran into trouble for gifts in kind whose real value didn’t match their reported value. Then there’s Pediatric AIDS Canada/USA, whose registration was also revoked by CRA for high fundraising costs and involvement in an “international donation arrangement that artificially inflated expenditures on charitable activities”.

Both these organizations were included in a recent Toronto Star article about charity fraud (“Plug pulled on charity after audit reveals money misspent”, March 7, 2011). The article essentially deals with six organizations where cases of charitable spending or reporting breaches led to CRA intervention. I point this out because six organizations out of thousands who conduct themselves legitimately is a very small number. Even if there are other, as yet undiscovered, fraudsters out there they remain a very small percentage of Canada’s overall charitable sector. The damage they inflict, however, can be devastating to all.

Donor diligence is the best defense against making contributions to fraudulent causes. But donors should not become alarmed and think that fraud is rampant in Canadian charities. It is not. A very few bad apples make it extremely challenging for legitimate charities to maintain goodwill and donor trust (and often add to the costs of operating a bona fide charity). Volunteers, too, can be skeptical about supporting the sector if they don’t feel their efforts are aligned with legitimate and legal purposes. So there’s much at stake (donors, volunteers, public opinion) for the good apples.

Updated charity laws, aggressive prosecution of lawbreakers, and accessible information for donors and volunteers are all helping to keep fraud to an absolute minimum in Canada. One bad apple is one too many, but it’s important that the entire sector not be branded criminals by a very few examples of cheating, fraudulent fundraising, or illegal scams.

For more information, check these resources:

http://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/charities





New year, new Act for Ontario Not-For-Profits

18 01 2011

The Corporations Act, which has applied to Ontario non-profits since 1907, was replaced in October with the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. If you missed it, here’s a brief wrap-up of the pertinent content changes and a link to the new Act.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

The Act is a legal framework, setting out rules for many of the same issues and requirements as the previous Corporations Act. The updates, however, were long overdue and address current issues and realities. Here’s what stands out among the highlights of Bill 65:

  • harmonizes regulations with other Canadian jurisdictions (including Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act of 2009)
  • simplified incorporation process (potentially from previous several weeks to just a few days)
  • directors now have statutory duty of care (act honestly, in good faith/best interests of the corporation, exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person, and comply with Act and all by-laws)
  • liability protection provisions for directors (with certain conditions)
  • allows commercial activities if revenues used for the organization’s non-profit purpose
  • increases financial transparency (from changes in annual reporting to rules for accessing  records)

To access the Act at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario web site, use this link:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2347&detailPage=bills_detail_the_bill&Intranet=





Gas Up!

15 12 2010

Today, December 15th, you can help the CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund by filling your tank at any area Pioneer gas station. One cent from each litre pumped will be donated to the Fund. Tell your friends!