Carly Russell-Huntley, community manager with Used.ca, presents Mustard Seed intern Josh Wild with a big cheque representing the proceeds of a fundraising contest Used.ca held in partnership with Country Grocer. Used.ca is nominated for a 2020 National Philanthropy Day Giving Hearts Honour Roll award for its work helping community groups and individuals in need. (Courtesy Used.ca)

Vancouver Island fundraisers ‘pivot’ for 2020 National Philanthropy Day awards

Giving Hearts Honour Roll to recognize pandemic-inspired acts of kindness in community

Many people, companies and organizations around Greater Victoria have gone above and beyond to help their neighbours and the community deal with changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s a big reason why Vancouver Island members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) have changed the focus for the 2020 National Philanthropy Day awards.

The creation of the Giving Hearts Honour Roll acknowledges how the pandemic has changed the way people make a difference in the community. Where recipients in six different categories are honoured most years, the Honour Roll recognizes “outstanding local change makers including individuals, nonprofits, organizations, businesses and community groups who have responded to unprecedented needs in our community in unique and generous ways.”

“It has been an extraordinary year, and we are excited to be providing our Vancouver Island community an opportunity to celebrate everyone who has stepped up in extraordinary ways,” AFP Vancouver Island chapter president Colleen Bronson said in a release.

RELATED STORY: National Philanthropy Day reveals local winners, nominees

Among the organizations that have pivoted in the way they support community is Used.ca, Black Press Media’s online goods and services marketplace and a 2020 Giving Hearts Honour Roll nominee. Its community coordinators and #UsedHelps fundraising initiatives help community groups and people in need, but COVID-related limits on gatherings have prompted a rethinking of how those happen, says Used.ca community manager Carly Russell-Huntley.

“We reached out to our partners right away to find out how we could support them,” she said. “Being a local company, too, we recognize how important that is. Our main goal for 2020 has been to keep the ball rolling and continue to help where we can.”

The Giving Hearts Honour Roll is the perfect recognition program for the time, Russell-Huntley adds.

“More than ever during this time, it’s really important to show all the initiatives that individual businesses and people are doing to stay positive and give back to the community,” she said.

ALSO READ: Victoria Foundation, United Way dishes funds to 60 south Island charitable programs

National Philanthropy Day celebrations happen virtually across Canada on Nov. 15. Other elements of the local event include a virtual Philanthropy Cafe Masterclass with guest speakers and discussions of philanthropic ideas, and Power of Youth: Giving Hearts Workshop, a do-it-yourself session aimed at young change makers.

The deadline for Honour Roll nominations is Sept. 15. To nominate an individual, group or organization, to register for the workshops or to find any other information, visit npdvictoria.com.


 

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