Michael is ‘Building Brighter Futures’
After learning about the vision of the late Terry Jay, local arborist and entrepreneur instrumental in developing the inaugural 2013 Children’s Foundation of Guelph Wellington (CFGW) ‘Trees For Tots’, Michael Douglas was inspired to help keep Terry’s vision alive through volunteering. “It gives me a great sense of pride to know that I am helping fulfill Terry’s personal dream and making a visible difference in the lives of many children in our community.”
Michael began volunteering in January 2015 as a Driver’s Helper, picking up trees at the curb and administering the related route paperwork for this annual fundraiser. Since that time, Michael expanded his support through assisting events such as Fore Our Kids Golf Tournament, Brush Off and the Around the World Gala.
“As a retired father of three, volunteerism affords me a very dynamic and important opportunity to personally remain physically and mentally active. Being a volunteer allows me to make a tangible difference in the life of a child, youth or family and effect a positive, productive contribution to my community” says Michael, “My own children and grandchildren drive and inspire me. I am blessed to have them in my life; they remind me how important it is to make a positive difference in the life of a child, any child, anywhere, any time when you have the opportunity”
Since 2015, Michael has assumed a much larger volunteer role in the Trees For Tots initiative and has been integral in the planning and organization of Trees for Tots. “Michael’s astonishing contribution” says Brenda Walsh, Outreach & Administrative Coordinator, has supported the event “with countless volunteer hours arranging everything from identifying sites and getting permission for mobile signage to promote Trees For Tots’ to publicity, marketing, public awareness and processing management on event day.”
“I am proud to gift my time and energy to the Children’s Foundation; nationally recognized for it’s integrity, it’s financial transparency, it’s proficiency in putting fundraised dollars to work quickly, for keeping overhead costs in line and effectively communicating the impact that the donations received have made in the community. “says Michael.
CFGW is ‘Building Brighter Futures’ through a variety of essential programs and services; the compassion, spirit and leadership from volunteers such as Michael assists in attaining the CFGW vision where ‘All children and youth have equal opportunity to learn, grow and participate in their community.’
“Volunteering with a successful not for profit charitable organization like the Children’s Foundation provides volunteers with a “highlight moment” every day. “When over 20,000 children in your community benefit from the Foundation’s efforts, each family story of gratitude and each thank you note received from a grateful child or a family is a highlight in itself.”
“Michael is the volunteer who has decided he wants to make a difference, he doesn’t volunteer because it’s easy, he volunteers because it’s worth it. Volunteers like Michael, make what we do possible” says Brenda Walsh. As this article was being published, Michael was awarded the ‘Mary Carlin Volunteer of the Year’ award for 2017. To learn more about CFGW, please visit www.childrensfoundation.org