A Place to Belong

10 07 2017

The annual report from the Hamilton Community Foundation is always a welcome read, and this year was no exception. Once again, the report’s pages highlight important investments and remarkable impact happening across the Hamilton area. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check it out, find a few moments to read A Place to Belong.

Place-To-Belong-Logo





A Win-Win-Win for Children, Families, Communities

30 09 2013

It’s about helping children after the trauma of abuse. The focus is supporting parents and caregivers. And we all benefit.

That’s the winning combination behind the Community Child Abuse Council’s entry in the AVIVA Community Fund competition this year.  It’s a simple concept that, with your support, could do a great deal of good.

The Community Parent Support Program

  • A series of facilitated group programs to support parents and caregivers whose children have been sexually victmized, or who have problem sexual behaviours (including sibling incest).
  • Developed by an experienced team of professionals and offered by the Community Child Abuse Council over the past several years – with solid results.
  • Parents (including foster parents) and caregivers (including grandparents) learn together and get the support they need to understand what their children are going through. In a safe and supportive environment, they strengthen their knowledge about sexual abuse and its impact on families, and enhance their ability to support their children. And, importantly, their involvement in these groups has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s treatment outcomes.

Now, the Council has an opportunity to share this proven model with others, supporting parents and caregivers in any community (even remote ones and those without specialized treatment options for children). The proposal will see the program published, packaged, and distributed widely, together with the materials and supports needed by facilitators to deliver these groups in any community. These innovative resources will be affordable, adaptable, and ready to implement in any community, anywhere. And, to make this a win-win-win scenario, any revenue from the project will be reinvested into the Council’s child abuse prevention, education, and treatment programs. That means more treatment for local kids in need, more prevention work, and more community-focused educational initiatives.

Voting begins today – September 30th – and it’s easy to vote. Just go to the AVIVA Community Fund web site, find the “register” button at the top right of the page (takes 30 seconds, and only required on your first visit), and once you’re registered, select the Community Parent Support Program and vote!

Here’s the link: http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf17152#.UkHqha-RE2Y.email

You can also search for the Council’s project on the AVIVA Community Fund web site using (idea) number is ACF17152.

Please tell your friends, use your social media connections, and help generate as much support as possible for this proposal – with your help, and enough votes, it will move on to the next rounds and one step closer to the funding that will make this important project possible.

In the first round, you can vote 15 times (but only once per day for the same project). So, please, use those votes to help put valuable and vital resources in the hands of caring communities where they can do the most good for families who need them.

Thank you so very much.





Music for a great cause

17 09 2013

October marks Child Abuse Prevention Month, and this year local music fans will have an opportunity to help support vital child abuse prevention, education, and treatment programs by coming out for a free evening of music on October 18th hosted by Burlington’s B Town Sound. If you happen to be an acoustic musician or band member, you also have a chance to perform that evening by entering your video and drumming up support on Facebook – the top 5 artists with the most “likes” will take the stage at the event AND receive 2 hours of free recording time with B Town Sound’s Justin Koop.

walk-off-the-earthHugely popular local band Walk Off The Earth (famous for their five-person, one guitar cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know,” with 50 million views on YouTube in less than a month!) is donating an autographed ukelele for the live auction.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Community Child Abuse Council.

For more details, check out the event poster here Acoustic Night Oct 18th 2013 or go to www.btownsound.ca.

 





A wonderful evening…and a model for community building

19 11 2012

New to the Hamilton community, a businessman decides to join The Hamilton Club and a local service organization as a means to connect with locals and establish himself in civic-minded circles. Then he imports an event – previously organized with great success in Toronto – to bring some of his new connections together in support of local charities. He enlists the help of his new service club, Hamilton Rotary AM, and reaches out to a number of corporate sponsors for help. Add the generous support of The Hamilton Club, as host venue, and the talents

Artist Jeremy Bortz and his Flowers of Hope tiles

of artist Jeremy Bortz and some fine musicians and vocalists, and the event turns into a wonderful mix of socializing and fundraising. All because one man cared enough to bring together the needed ingredients – and best of all, to do so in support of vital community services.
The man behind this inspired effort was Tim Dickins. The event, An Evening with Jeremy Bortz & Friends, was held last week. The Community Child Abuse Council and Good Shepherd were the beneficiaries. Ticket sales, sponsorships, and a live auction generated proceeds split between these two local agencies, with additional funds raised for McMaster Children’s Hospital through the sale of Jeremy Bortz’s beautiful floral art tiles.
This is a wonderful example of how individuals, businesses, and community groups can come together on behalf of good causes and raise funds that make a big difference in the lives of Hamiltonians. Neither of the beneficiary agencies had to devote scarce resources to organizing an event, and guests were treated to something a little different – a welcome change in the busy landscape of fundraising functions. Warmest thanks to all who were involved in making this event possible, including the artists and musicians who provided the fabulous entertainment throughout the evening. Thanks also to MC Sunni Genesco, to The Hamilton Club, to Rotary Club of Hamilton AM, to Rogers Business Solutions and other sponsors, to auction donors, and to all who attended. And a very special thank you to Tim Dickins for bringing it all together and supporting his “new” community – one that  is already better because of him…thank you for being a Hamiltonian with heart.





Ernie’s in the house…and 3 cheers for Bo!

24 07 2012

The buzz on the course at Hamilton Golf & Country Club today included the excitement surrounding the arrival of Open Champion, Ernie Els, who will compete this week in the RBC Canadian Open. But on a quiet corner of the course, early in the day, six generous supporters of the Community Child Abuse Council got a real treat when they joined PGA Tour Pro, Bo Van Pelt, for a private clinic. These donors paid to spend time with Bo, get tips on their short game, and putting advice, all to raise funds for the Council’s child abuse treatment, prevention, and education programs. Bo Van Pelt didn’t disappoint…he spent individual time with each of the six, provided valuable insights and tips, and shared his knowledge of the game openly. After the exclusive clinic, Bo joined the group for lunch in the RBC Clubhouse Suite and talked about all things golf…life on the tour, competing with the world’s best, juggling family life with career duties, and the quirks of tournament play. He’s a personable and generous man, and a bighearted supporter of the charities selected to partner with tournament stops on the PGA Tour. The hat he wears this week during competition will bear the logo of the Community Child Abuse Council, part of his ongoing support of the many causes embraced by professional golf and its sponsors.

This is an incredibly important week for the Council. Amid the helicopters delivering golf’s royalty onto the course and the media scrambling for the action shots, humble volunteers are engaging golf fans and community attendees in work that will prevail long after the tournament ends. Their efforts over the next several days will help to ensure the right help is there at the right time for children who turn to us for hope and healing after the pain and trauma of abuse. Every purple ribbon they sell, every person they speak with, and every moment they spend being ambassadors for this important cause will leave a lasting legacy that far outlasts the buzz on the course.

Thanks Bo, and good luck this week.





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.





The Heart of the OPEN

1 04 2012

The eyes of the golfing world will be on Hamilton this July as the RBC Canadian Open returns to the Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

But the heart of the Open, this year, is linked to helping child and youth victims of sexual abuse and trauma here in our community. RBC has chosen the Community Child Abuse Council as the Local Charity Partner for the 2012 RBC Canadian Open, and committed a sizeable financial investment to help the organization in its mission – to reduce the incidence and impact of child abuse and to promote the safe and healthy development of children. This is truly a gift wrapped in hope, and represents a significant opportunity for this community to make great strides in its support of vulnerable and victimized youngsters. By supporting the Council in its partnership with the RBC Canadian Open, the Hamilton region has an unprecedented chance to turn an already generous donation from RBC into something bigger – and to see the legacy of the 2012 Canadian Open be a lasting one for local children’s mental health.

The Council is about to launch a fundraising drive – The Heart of the OPEN Campaign – to engage the support of the community and to involve Hamiltonians in this partnership with RBC and the Canadian Open. Some of the campaign’s activities are directly tied to the Open, including advance ticket sales, exclusive VIP and “inside the ropes” experience packages, and on-site sales. Limited edition hats will be sold in area RBC branches in the weeks leading up to the Open with proceeds going to the campaign. Other campaign efforts are bringing together some of RBC’s corporate clients, community leaders, and friends of the Council in a range of fundraising initiatives aimed at demonstrating that the Hamilton community can and will step up to support child abuse prevention, education, and treatment in partnership with RBC.

Campaign proceeds will help enhance treatment programs for child and youth victims of sexual abuse, expand parent support groups, and invest in proven prevention initiatives. The Community Child Abuse Council is unique in providing these specialized services in the Hamilton community, and continuously works to increase its capacity so that all children needing this help can receive it. A waiting list for treatment has been an ongoing challenge, with children as young as 3 years of age often waiting several months for clinical services. A robust campaign success will also enable the Council to secure a permanent home for its programs and services.

Statistics show that one in three girls and one in six boys is sexually victimized before reaching adulthood. In Hamilton, Chief Glenn De Caire of Hamilton Police Service has publicly referred to rising rates of sexual assaults against children and women, and child pornography, as “troubling” given otherwise declining rates of violent crime in the city. The trauma resulting from sexual victimization can have a lifelong and significant impact if not treated early and effectively. The scars of abuse can last decades and can impact generations.

The 2012 RBC Canadian Open will be held July 23-29 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club

An energetic campaign team comprised of volunteers from all corners of the community is now hard at work to ensure the success of this fundraising initiative. Their efforts, along with the generosity of RBC, bring much-needed attention to child maltreatment and a vital financial investment in the future of local children and youth.  To find out more about The Heart of the OPEN Campaign, to volunteer, or to support the cause, watch the Council’s web site for details ( www.childabusecouncil.on.ca). If you’re a golfer, a golf fan, or know others who are, you can help make the excitement of the Open (July 23 – 29 last long after the trophy has been claimed and the crowds have dispersed…be part of the Open and please support the Council’s campaign and help to make sure the legacy left by the 2012 RBC Canadian Open is one that invests in children and youth well into the future. If we as a community can match RBC’s investment we can take huge strides that are long overdue. Thank you!





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