Every winter we are reminded of how the most vulnerable in our community struggle through this difficult time of year. The weather alone presents its challenges but also gives meaning to all those who volunteer their time in Niagara to really step up to the plate and lend a helping hand. As British poet Edith Sitwell puts it, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home”.
Being a member of the gennext team has helped to build purpose and meaning on both a personal and professional level for our team. We are a dynamic and enthusiastic team of individuals who continue to grow and strive to make a difference in our community. We are always up for a challenge and look forward to our scheduled events. One of our newer yearly events the gennext group participated in was a 50/50 fundraising event at a local Niagara River Lions basketball game at the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines. The group collectively raised $500 for the United Way. This event was the second time in as many years the group had participated in this event as a means to spread the word on how United Way can strengthen the community. We hope to continue this wonderful event on a yearly basis.
Another event the team volunteered their time with was at an after school program at Manchester place assisting with a Valentines event. Approximately 40-50 children were engaged with the volunteers in numerous different activities which included crafts, cookie decorating and an assortment of Valentine’s Day themed games. Being involved in such events is a rewarding experience as it assists adults/children with opportunities to connect with others and develop new or existing skills. Being involved in events with the youth of Niagara, both at after school programs and other events gennext take part in, is a not just a rewarding experience for the gennext team but also for the children to connect and socialize with their friends and continue to grow into the ever increasing mature young adults we get to see each year.
Gennext brainstorms and reaches out to local agencies and groups too. The gennext mission statement is to increase engagement and understanding of United Way of St. Catharines & District in the young professional demographic through community outreach and fundraising activities. To reach out a helping hand, rain or shine, towards those in need of it does sometimes feel like you receive much more in return.