The Gift of Giving

Written by Kevan McBeth- Executive Director, Elks of Canada

When I applied for the position of Executive Director of the Elks of Canada, I remember reading something when I researched the Order. It was a quote from the Kinsmen that read: 

The standard story of Canadian Service Clubs is that the Rotary have all the money, the Elks do the most work, and the Kinsmen have the most fun.
— Kinsmen 75th History Book

Now clearly whoever wroth the quote has never seen Leonard Shain and Duane Felt play air guitar at Convention, but I didn't come here to debate the validity of the comment, but they do have one thing right - the Elks are the hardest-workin' group around, especially when it comes to support for our national charity, the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, and the impacts that the charity has on those in need. 

We help young children like Emily and her family pay for hearing aids that help her hear, for sure, but more importantly, help her be a kid just like everyone else. 

We help young children like Emily and her family pay for hearing aids that help her hear, for sure, but more importantly, help her be a kid just like everyone else. 

In all honesty, it was the charity that brought me here - and I think its the main source of our collective Elks pride. That look on a family's face when you present them with a personal assistance check that helps them give their child a chance to realize their full potential, or just be a kid like their peers, is something special. Knowing that your hard work at that walk-a-thon or local fundraising initiative translates into dollars that go to our charity so that they can be used to pay for a pair of hearing aids, or a cochlear implant, or even help pay for a conversion van for a child with cerebral palsy puts a smile on our faces and fills our hearts with joy. Anybody who's ever watched one of these videos of people hearing their loved ones for the first time should be able to understand that what we do for families is life changing. 

(Good luck getting past the first girl without shedding a tear by the way!) 

The simple fact is this - you've donated nearly $10 million (yes, $10 million!) to provincial programs in the last 40 years, and supported nearly 3,000 personal assistance cases with another $3.5 million.  

Just stop and think about that for a minute. $13.5 million dollars. Most of which comes from the hard work (if not the pockets) of our members. Amazing. 

Let's keep the giving train running.

I think we can all agree that we would LOVE to see the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children flourish because the truth is that people need us, (and it feels sooooo good to make a difference for others!). Unfortunately, there are only so many dollars that we can ask for from our members before they start to feel donor fatigue and aren't able to support further. 

Caitlin Brockman has been a recipient of funding from the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, and now she's giving back by telling her story and helping others as a Child and Youth Grief Counselor in British Columbia. 

Caitlin Brockman has been a recipient of funding from the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, and now she's giving back by telling her story and helping others as a Child and Youth Grief Counselor in British Columbia. 

We need to look at new and different ways of engaging and attracting others to FEEL that same good feeling we do when we give to the Fund for Children, and we need to widen our span of donors so that others can participate and contribute to the awesome thing we have going here. 

One way we can do this is through Giving Tuesday

Last year was our first year participating in the Giving Tuesday program, which is held at the end of November (right after Black Friday in the US) as a way to kickstart the holidays. Last year, we raised $3,000 in just one day for the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, and this year our goal is $5,000. 

Giving Tuesday this year is November 28th, and you should see alot of information about the day ahead of time on social media and on our website etc. 

We would love for you to give, but more importantly we would love for you to get involved with a giving page. 

Giving Tuesday.JPG

 

Ryan O'Connor in our office has been working hard on developing a new platform for us that we will be able to use not only for events like Giving Tuesday, but could also easily be incorporated into provincial walk-a-thons and other fundraising intiatives that support the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Childrent. The new website (which you can access here) for the Giving Tuesday event coming up allows you to donate on-line and get a tax reciept instantly. 

But, what's really slick is the platform's ability to allow people to create your very own donation collection page, which you can use and share on social media and through emails to your friends and family. Anyone can start a page, including Elks Members, their families, grand children, friends, school mates- anyone who has an interest in setting up a page to help us reach our goal. 

I would love to see us create atleast 50 personal donations pages this year to show our friends and families how amazing the work we do truly is! 

If you are in need of some support to set up a page yourself, please contact us or you can use the tutorial that Ryan developed, which you can download here

We still have a few weeks for people to sign in, set up an account and design a page, so let's try to use that time to get things set up and ready to go for the 28th. And let's use that monicker of "hard workin' people" to blow the $5,000 target out of the water this year, and show the rest of Canada what we are capable of doing when we work together! 

Watch for information leading up to the Giving Tuesday event, and share your page with others ahead of time so that they know where they should spend their Giving Tuesday donations this year. We will open the pages early so that people have ample time to make a donation if they wish. 

Thanks everyone. Let's make this an amazing start to the holiday season! 

Kevan