Jeff Poissant at Evolving Media & Design, believes passionately in giving back to the community. In 2004, he decided to move his family to the Glengarry Area in Eastern Ontario.
“My family and I considered establishing our roots in the region,” he says. “Our daughter was a newborn, so we had time to study the landscape.”
In 2006, Heinz Kaswurm of the Georgian House Restaurant and Day Spa, both a friend of Jeff and a client.
“He approached me and asked if I would consider being a board member on the Friends of Glengarry Trails Association, a not-for-profit organization with limited funds.”
Looking back on life after that invitation brought back many memories.
“I spent ten years as a board member, part of the Outreach Committee. You can have a look at what I did while I was part of the Glengarry Trails here,” explains, Jeff.
“In 2009, my daughter and I started helping the Alexandria Festival of Lights. She was five years old, the youngest volunteer to this day. I joined the committee and took over publicizing the event. I created all the promotional ads, banners, the website. During the Festival of Lights, my daughter would help make hot chocolate for the visitors, hand out candy, and direct people to the wagon rides. She was right in there. We spent five years participating; it was a weekly affair. Every Saturday morning, for nine months, my daughter and I helped. It was amazing watching my five-year-old checking large rolls of Christmas lights to see if any were broken or burnt out, wrapping Christmas lights on the fence rails or decorating the trees at Island Park with Bonnie MacDonald.”
And that wasn’t all.
“In 2010, my family got involved within the Terry Fox Run in Alexandria. We helped Doug Boechk and the Glengarry Trails. Designed the Ad, helped place signs around town, took photos and video. My wife was stationed at the water stop while our daughter ran 10 to 13 km. We participated in the Terry Fox Run in Alexandria every year except, three. In 2016 we ran in Ottawa. The other two years we were not available, bad timing.”
When asked why is this important, Jeff is ready with an explanation.
“Look at any community across Canada, you will see a lot of organizations that need help, require expertise, or sometimes an organization needs able bodies to do some grunt work. Many are small and run by volunteers with limited budgets. The issue today, in 2019, is many of these organizations are losing their volunteer base. Volunteers are getting older. They pass away; they lose interest or, as if so often the case, they burn out. Very few young people are participating because they have their interests, their crusades, the environment for one.”
That’s why volunteering is life-changing.