Feb. 12 – When One Succeeds, We All Succeed


When One Succeeds, We All Succeed

Even though I wasn’t in Manitoba for most of this week, I still found myself learning from the people that make up our Winnipeg Harvest community.

I often meet with business leaders who support Winnipeg Harvest with donations of food, time or money. This week I met Todd Wiebe and Kayla Proskurniak from RBC Dominion Securities, where donations of securities are managed. In addition to their corporate association with us, Todd has a long history volunteering at a soup kitchen and Kayla—after having several baby showers for her new child— had lots of baby formula and donated it all to our First Steps program. The generosity and giving spirit of the people around us never ceases to amaze me.

I spent the latter half of the week visiting with Aart Schuurman Hess, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. It’s always an educational experience to see how the many pieces of an operation like a large food bank come together. Seeing the areas where the GVFB has found success was a great encouragement to me not only because it means hungry people in Vancouver have increased access to food, but also because we never want to make the mistake of thinking Winnipeg Harvest can’t improve.

This week also held the bittersweet opportunity to wish the best of luck to a Winnipeg Harvest team member. Rebecca came to Winnipeg Harvest as a food back recipient as a child and quickly began to volunteer. Her story has been well-documented at Harvest. After high school, Rebecca went on to achieve post-secondary education while volunteering six days a week in our warehouse. Once her education was complete, she accepted a position to be a team member at Winnipeg Harvest and has spent the past six years educating others and breaking the stigmas surrounding food bank users. Rebecca is passionate and well-spoken, always leads with joy, and is an engaging leader and educator to both French and English school groups.

When we sat down to have our exit interview, she was emotional. This was her first job and she said she considers Winnipeg Harvest her second family. She hopes to volunteer again once things settle down in her new role.

When I reflect on Rebecca, and the other events of this week, I am reminded of this quote:

“At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself. Did that make a difference in your life?” Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw – Stephen Covey

I’m honoured to be part of an organization that played such a pivotal role in Rebecca’s life and it’s with pride we release her and wish her nothing but success in her new role.