Last week I had the opportunity to spend an entire day shadowing health services at Klinic, which I will write about in an upcoming post, early in the new year. Because this time of year is meaningful in many cultures and often emphasizes a generous spirit, I wanted to focus my last blog of 2015 on the generosity I have encountered working at Klinic and SERC.
Both of the organizations that I have the privilege to be a part of have long histories of serving some of the most marginalized populations in our community. They advocate for equity in a broad range of areas: income, health, access, and gender. I am so impressed by the generosity that exists in these places, where there is true leadership by example.
I have witnessed this in so many ways since taking on the role of Executive Director: from support for the United Way and All Charities Campaigns to numerous charitable activities throughout the year. At Klinic our staff contributes to a benevolent fund that provides added support to clients in need; buying medication for individuals without coverage, or purchasing new glasses or a walker for someone with limited funds. The level of participation in this fund is frankly astounding and demonstrates a deep level of commitment to the people we serve.
Both SERC and Klinic organize hampers for families in need over the holidays, contributing goods, time and funds. Klinic Health Services staff put together an additional 35 packages this year for people they know who are largely isolated over the holidays, who may not be expecting much in the way of gifts (you can read about it on CBC here). In December SERC, working with their CUPE local, also participated in a huge clothing drive for refugees coming to Canada during these cold months- a critical requirement in welcoming our new Canadians.
Today, as I watch Roland, our dedicated building engineer, pack up the leftover food from the Klinic staff holiday gathering, to be brought to a partner non-profit that works with youth in the inner city, I think about how culture in an organization is so important. I cannot imagine wanting to be anywhere else than in a place of such embodied generosity, and I am once again, grateful.
Wishing you joy and peace and the same gift of gratitude this holiday season and in 2016.