Charitable organizations in KW honoured

On June 14, the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (KWFC) hosted “A Celebration of Giving” in honour of the foundation’s 25th anniversary, as well as the local charitable and not-for-profit organizations they support.

Nearly 60 organizations took part in the day’s festivities by contributing information on their group and providing entertainment.

“It’s really a celebration about community,” said Rosemary Smith, CEO of the KWCF.
“We have a hope and a desire that people who come out and support today will go home knowing a lot more of the community in which they live.”

Performances throughout the day included music by the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and along with a dance by the Jie Jie Chinese Dancers and a skit by Flush Ink Productions.

A strong feeling of community development was consistent among the volunteers in attendance.
Edwin Laryen, president of the African-Canadian Association of Waterloo Region and Area (ACAWRA) was enthusiastic not only of promoting the services of his organization but also of the connections he made at the event.

“I’ve seen groups that I would never had had a chance to meet. I think this should be done annually so the connection continues,” said Laryen.

ACAWRA provides community support through a soccer school for children, homework support and peer health work for adults, all of which are run by trained volunteers.

“Right now we are making a pitch for more volunteers,” said Layren. “[Volunteers] become active citizens in the community at large.”

The spirit of volunteerism was also shared by the Volunteer Action Centre.

Their primary focus is connecting volunteers with community organizations by advertising and promoting volunteer opportunities.

“Our website is open to use for the public. They can check for volunteer opportunities,” said Dianne Boston-Nyp, community relations coordinator for the Volunteer Action Centre.

At the root of the fun and entertainment of the day was KWFC’s goal.

“You can see what [organizations are] available that you had no idea was out there,” said Vicky Wright, a community member who came to support the Cowan Family Youth Committee.

“You can involve the kids too, which is very important,” she added.