November 28, 2014

Community Rallies for GuelphGives

On Dec. 2, something amazing is happening in Guelph, and every Guelphite is invited to participate.

A note from Lindsay Sytsma, the co-organizer of GuelphGives and the Development Director at Lakeside HOPE House:

We want you to be part of GuelphGives, a daylong civic movement that will show what every Guelphite already knows: that Guelph is Canada’s most generous city.

Inspired by the larger worldwide GivingTuesday movement, GuelphGives will be a day entirely dedicated to our community, where every person can give back in their own creative way to make Guelph a better, stronger city.

A few other communities, including Regina, Sarnia-Lambton County and Calgary, have publicly challenged this idea. They have taken up the gauntlet we threw down in September, challenging Guelph to put their money where its mouth is. And that is just what we intend to do.

How can we be so confident, you might ask? Well, we have a few tools in our arsenal that we think the competition will be lacking. Here are a few of the secrets to our guaranteed success:

GuelphGives leadership

We have to give a huge thank you to our founding partners and steering committee members. They represent some of the busiest and most invested community citizens, and yet they still found time to plan, organize and give leadership to this local movement. GuelphGives is a testament to the truth that when we all work together, something amazing happens and a movement begins. Here are the great local organizations that laid the groundwork for Dec. 2 by participating on the GuelphGives steering committee: Guelph Chamber of Commerce; University of Guelph; The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington; Volunteer Centre of Guelph and Wellington; Guelph Community Foundation; Guelph General Hospital Foundation; Guelph Youth Music Centre; United Way of Guelph-Wellington; Lakeside HOPE House; The Ontarion; Hutch Manifest; Sleeman Brewery; and the Downtown Guelph Business Association.

Our generous sponsors

We have been amazed at the businesses that have supported this initiative, offering both financial and gift-in-kind sponsorship that is sure to be a large factor in the success of GuelphGives. From website design and tech support to creative materials and advertising, we have been gifted and supported by this community. It seems the minute you say words like “collaborative,” “city-wide” and “for the good of Guelph,” people immediately want to help, not to mention “trail-blazing” and “leading the way” for GivingTuesday in Canada.

We want to give special mention to: GiantGoat Web Development; Intrigue Media; Hutch Manifest; Fusion Homes; Sleeman Brewery; RBC; Scotia Bank; Magic 106.1; Royal Canin; M&T Printing; The Ontarion; Hand on a White Board; and the City of Guelph for the very tangible support they have offered. These are amazing local businesses and organizations who love this community, and it’s because of their support that we’ve been able to pull GuelphGives off so far.

Guelphites

We know Guelph to be a caring and generous city. This is the very reason we initially set the target of being Canada’s most generous city — because we knew we already were. As we have shared, spoken and promoted this event, we have been blown away by the response people in this city have had.

GuelphGives is designed to celebrate all forms of giving, no idea is too big or too small. Business, individuals, not-for-profits and community organizations all have a chance to participate. Whether that is launching a campaign, raising awareness for a great cause, getting a team together to volunteer or doing something creative to raise funds for a favourite local charity (check out www.givingtuesdaychallenge.com), we need every single Guelphite to help.

You could donate blood, adopt a pet, support your favourite organization, collect a needed item and donate it to a great cause, volunteer your time, purchase local coupons where a portion of the proceeds go to a charity of your choice (www.FunRaisers.com) or just spread the word about what is happening. You could come to the Giving Fair happening in the Quebec Street Mall, play Charity Plinko at Stone Road Mall or head over to the Sleeman Centre for the free skate happening from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.(make sure you stop by the Giving Fair before or after).

Whatever you plan to do, make sure you do it on Dec. 2, and be part of GuelphGives and the larger GivingTuesday Canada movement. With your help we can show the world that Guelph is Canada’s most generous city.

If you would like to learn more about GuelphGives, please go to our website, www.guelphgives.ca, for more information and also join the movement by “liking” our Facebook page and by following us on Twitter @GuelphGives.

ByLindsay Sytsma

Lindsay Sytsma is the co-organizer of GuelphGives and is also the Development Director at Lakeside HOPE House.

This article has been reproduced from the article, “Community rallies for GuelphGives,” originally published by the Guelph Mercury on November 13, 2014.

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