Linking Hope, linking resources, lifting people
Pearson helping Winnipeggers with their vital needs
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This article was published 14/02/2022 (468 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On her LinkedIn page, Kristie Pearson expresses her vision in 16 words: “A community of hope, where we come together to give people in need a hand up.”
Pearson brings that vision to life through her volunteer work with Linking Hope, an organization she founded in January 2021. It connects people who are willing to give their time, talent or money to existing agencies helping Winnipeggers in need.
Pearson reaches out to her network through social media and emails and offers a focus for their generosity. People can bring specifically requested items to her River Heights neighbourhood home, and Pearson co-ordinates drivers to deliver the donations to various agencies.
The 47-year-old completed her latest donation drive earlier this month, co-ordinating the delivery of food, diapers, baby formula, winter clothing, underwear and hygiene products to North End Women’s Resource Centre, West Central Women’s Resource Centre, Mount Carmel Clinic, North Point Douglas Women’s Centre and Thrive Community Support Circle.
“When COVID-19 first hit, I was depressed reading on social media how many of the front-line agencies were struggling to help people in our community,” says Pearson, who holds a master’s degree in business administration and has a background in marketing and fundraising. “I wrote an email and sent it out to a large list I have from all my past fundraising. It was incredible how many people wanted to help.”
Pearson’s garage soon filled up with supplies from hundreds of donors, and she got to work sorting the items and organizing deliveries. Since then, Pearson’s network has donated and delivered more than 200 carloads of items.
“One of my skill sets is being pushy, especially when it comes to helping people who need a hand up,” she says.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people in Winnipeg who could tell you they’re tired of getting Kristie Pearson emails, but I have no shame in asking because my belief is that we all should support others and support our community.”
In addition to Linking Hope, Pearson volunteers with the Riverview Health Centre Foundation, Deer Lodge Centre Foundation, FortWhyte Alive and Equality Fund, a feminist philanthropy organization. She helps out at Koats for Kids, Main Street Project and Siloam Mission, and she and her husband, Doug Pollard, are members of United Way Winnipeg’s major donor cabinet.
Pearson is also the fundraising committee chairwoman at Clan Mothers Healing Village, an Indigenous, woman-led organization that supports victims of multi-generational trauma, sexual violence and human trafficking.
“I guess I’ve taken a new viewpoint over the years,” Pearson says. “As a white woman of privilege, a settler, I have started to learn that my role really needs to be that I first listen to others, try to learn something from them and then lift up their voices.”
Jamie Goulet, co-founder of Clan Mothers Healing Village, describes Pearson as a true ally who offers help with no strings attached.
“She’s a woman of many gifts and talents,” Goulet says. “She’s just an incredible human being.”
In her free time, Pearson enjoys cycling, playing soccer and spending time with her husband and three children.
“I guess all I can really say is I’m lucky that I live in the space that I do and that I have the financial ability to (volunteer) full-time,” she says. “But I also feel that with all the stuff I’m doing, I’m really just linking people.
“It’s not really about me, it’s about the others that are doing this hard work and just lifting their voices.”
If you know a special volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org