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Launching During COVID

It seems the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted all people, places and things. What I couldn’t have predicted, was that it is also impacting things that didn’t quite exist yet. The idea for re:give was born in February 2020, about one and a half months before Calgary shut down and closed its doors. It was at this same point (mid-March), we were in full force trying to launch by April 30. COVID-19 brought that all to a screaming halt and like most things, all work stopped for about a month. We were confused, we were stressed, and there were a lot of other things happening in our lives that prevented us from working on our project.

Laughing and pouting
helped us deal
with our stress..

As with most things, we adjusted. We realized that this “new normal” everyone kept talking about was going to be around for a while. This seemed to refocus us; we started looking at our concept for re:give as an idea that was desperately needed in a time when the average person had a lot less than they are used to, and those who were struggling to make ends meet before, well, they likely weren’t doing any better. What would be better for our community than to introduce them to a way to give back, without dipping into their already tight resources? 

Sure, we had to make some adjustments – many of our initial fundraising ideas wouldn’t be feasible in a pandemic. We couldn’t start putting drop boxes in shops at local vendors, because folks weren’t going out much and when they did, we didn’t want to contribute anymore touch points. We needed to find a way to have people donate from the comfort of their home – mid-April seemed to bring on worldwide household reorganization and we wanted to make sure we could tap into everyone cleaning out their  junk drawers! We quickly had to pivot to providing free postage for donors – easy for donors, easy for us to ‘quarantine’ packages for a few days and the best donation method for re:give during a pandemic.  It definitely makes more of a dent in our bottom line, but it makes giving that much easier. Now of course I could be wrong because we’ve only received a package or two, but time will tell… If you have a great idea on how to collect gift cards in a safe manner- drop us a message and let us know!

 

What would make it easier for you to re:give?

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Sarah is a self-professed busy bee. Currently she is working as an HR Manager at a Financial Planning & Investment Management Firm, while studying towards a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management at the University of Regina. She is focused on employee communications, establishing and supporting strategic HR direction, developing change management plans and everything in between. Sarah hopes to use her communication experience with content strategy and development to maximize re:give’s community outreach and engagement. In her spare time, Sarah is an avid travel enthusiast, cat mom and newly avid golfer.

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Tyrone is a technology enthusiast in every sense of the word.  Tyrone works with client’s day-in and day-out on solving industrial automation solutions as Regional Sales Manager at WAGO.  In his spare time he has helped numerous startups with their technology and automation focused goals, from equipment startup and implementation to IT and backend support.  Tyrone’s community-focused goals are to help younger generations foster an entrepreneurial mindset and help instill the values required for personal success in both career and life.

 

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Growing up in Toronto, Megan recently moved to Calgary in 2019 and currently works as a Strategy Analyst for ATB Financial. Megan is dedicated to contributing to the pursuit of elevating innovation in today’s financial environment. She joins us from Toronto where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. In Megan’s spare time, she enjoys skiing, horse-back riding, and spending time with her dog, Stella.

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Jenna is a born and raised Calgarian who currently works in Pediatric Oncology Research at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Jenna was a founding member of a not for profit, Outrun the Stigma, founded in 2013 when she was an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary. Outrun the Stigma was the first and largest mental health awareness run in Western Canada and has raised over $173,000 for mental health organizations in Calgary between chapters in Calgary and Edmonton. Jenna prides herself in her attention to detail, being a reliable leader, and enjoying the more “behind the scenes” work like understanding and creating various applicable policies and procedures and monitoring for compliance. She recently graduated from a Master’s of Science in Law from Northwestern University which gave her a unique understanding of law and regulatory frameworks that has been an incredible asset to the development of re:give.

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Andrea is an aviation enthusiast, and gender advocate. Her tandem pursuit of a commercial pilots license and a gender studies degree has provided her a large community network, which has allowed her to build relationships with professionals from a variety of sectors. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Club of Calgary, and her ability to build valuable relationships, as well as her marketing skills, have provided her the opportunity to sit on the communications and membership committee. Andrea strives to be an innovative problem solver, and enjoys exercising her skills as an effective leader and communicator. Andrea hopes to pair her experience, education, and tenacity to work towards diversity and inclusivity within the nonprofit sector and beyond.