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Local organization makes donation to Special Olympics

FeaturesLocal organization makes donation to Special Olympics

100 People Who Care Brant made a donation of $7,125 to Special Olympics Brantford during the organization’s third cycle of 2022.

Special Olympics Brantford was nominated by Heidi Nelson.

“Special Olympics is far more than just a program designed to improve health and fitness levels. It is through sports that Special Olympics is able to change the lives of over 200 local athletes and provide them with continued opportunities to develop physical fitness, express courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of successes, skills, and friendships,” said Nelson. “They discover the exhilaration of being on a team and of reaching personal goals. They regain lost self-esteem, and they no longer feel pushed aside and forgotten about. To be a part of Special Olympics is something truly special. I can not think of a more worthy recipient of our support.”

The members of 100 People Who Care Brant viewed video interviews with representatives from our three finalist nominees, including Arnold Anderson Sports Fund, Sensity Deafblind and Sensory Support Network of Canada, and Special Olympics Brantford, who gained the majority vote.

Christine Gallant, from the Special Olympics Brantford Council, advised that the generous donations from 100 People Who Care Brant would be directed to the Special Olympic athlete sport registration; and uniforms and equipment, including two portable soccer nets and two sets of shot puts/batons. In 2021, the registration program in the Brantford/Brant community amounted to over $20,000 for 400 athletes. 

The Special Olympics Brantford Council is a group of volunteers dedicated to providing full service support for Special Olympics Ontario Clubs and coaches to further Special Olympics goals, providing qualified athletes an opportunity to enhance their life and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences.

When Susan Ritchie, Shawna Brown Sharp and Donna Ireland founded 100 People Who Care Brant in early 2021, they recognized the dynamic potential of a Giving Circle, tailored to local demographics, in a generous community like Brant, Brantford & Six Nations.

“Our goal was to welcome a wide range of members of varying financial abilities, from both rural and urban areas, and to include those who had little time to attend in person meetings,” recalled Ireland. “The impacts of Covid on public gatherings solidified our determination to develop the first entirely virtual chapter under the umbrella of the 100 Who Care Alliance (https://www.100whocarealliance.org/), which has over 700 chapters across the world.”

Developing a user-friendly and dependable online system for registration of new members, nominations of charities, presentation of videos from 3 finalists per cycle and ultimately, for voting and making donations has been an ongoing challenge for the Steering Committee, which includes founding members Ritchie, Sharp and Ireland, and Kim Allardyce, who volunteered her services in mid 2021. Giving cycles run three times annually, with all communications to members posted in a private Facebook group, as well as emailed directly to members.

“We try to make the process run as smoothly as possible”, said Shawna Sharp, “and we always welcome feedback. We do get suggestions, but even more emails expressing gratitude, and not just from the charities we support – our members are awesome and it is great to hear how much they appreciate belonging to this group.”

The people of Brant, Brantford and Six Nations have been steadfast in their support, with over $48,000 raised to support six local charities over the past two years. All charities receiving funding through 100 People Who Care Brant commit to using the funds for current and local needs, with none of the money going toward administrative costs.

For more information about Special Olympics Brantford, please visit their website at https://brantford.specialolympicsontario.ca/ and you may make a donation at https://brantford.specialolympicsontario.ca/ways-to-give.

100 People Who Care Brant (serving Brant, Brantford & Six Nations) welcomes local residents who are interested in maximizing the impact of their annual commitment of $75 to $300 through group philanthropy, all from the comfort of home with no meetings to attend. As a registered member, in each of three giving cycles per year, you are invited to nominate local organization(s) that are close to your heart, learn about the work of three organizations through online video interviews and then cast your vote to determine which of the three will receive the members’ collective donations for that cycle. If you would like to learn more, or join in the effort to support charities and not-for-profit organizations that serve our community, please send an email to 100WhoCareBrant@gmail.com.

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