It's a tough time to be a charity.
But, lately, things are looking up. You could even say uplifting.
For months, charities have been forced to convert live fundraisers into virtual ones or hope that people will still send them cheques or input their credit card numbers on their website or the Canada Helps website.
It seems like a distant memory since people dressed up to go to a gala, lifted a paddle at a fundraising auction, or sit at a table surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of like-minded charitable folks.
But, as things begin opening up in the province, charities are beginning to get back in the swing of things. And by swing of things, I mean golf.
At least two charities, Winnipeg Harvest and Variety, the Children's Charity of Manitoba, are going ahead with their fundraising golf tournaments next month — albeit with some changes — after many were simply cancelled earlier this spring and summer.
Harvest's Lee Newton Memorial Golf Tournament is being held at the St. Boniface Golf Club on August 12, with the first shots taking place at noon. Meanwhile, Variety's Drive Fore the Kids Golf Classic tees off at the Niakwa Country Club on Aug. 31.
Both tournaments will make sure they follow provincial guidance on physical distancing - Variety says in its ad that the current situation means it "has changed the way we will be able to execute some of the course activities this year" but "we will still be offering a fun-filled day for all our golfers while still adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines."
That's great because there are people who need help from both charities in both normal and these not so normal times.
Every month Harvest feeds more than 70,000 Manitobans through its provincial network of 300-plus food banks and partner agencies in both Winnipeg and rural areas, but also northern Manitoba and First Nations communities. That hasn't stopped in recent months.
Same with Variety. They jump forward to help the children living with special needs and economic disadvantage with equipment, supplies and services not provided by government or our health care system.
Want to get out for a day of fun while helping feed the hungry or assist children in our community? For Harvest, go to www.winnipegharvest.org and for Variety email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-982-1050.
You just never know when you or someone you know will need them.
– Kevin Rollason
Celebrate 100 times
It's not just the province that saw plans for its anniversary year go awry this year — the Mennonite Central Committee also had to cancel all the events planned to celebrate its 100th anniversary But the MCC — no stranger to disasters — came up with new ways to be part of the anniversary.
GO! 100 is a way for MCC's supporters to celebrate by doing 100 of something to mark the occasion. People also seek pledges for doing the activities which are then donated to the MCC.
Brad Reimer, who directs special projects for MCC here, is putting together 100 puzzles.
"Everyone can do this," he said. "It can be 100 of anything."
Is there a doctor in her house?
Dr. Charlotte Ross became a doctor for one simple reason — she wanted to make sure a doctor was available to treat her children.
Ross, who was the province's first female doctor and went to medical school in Philadelphia in 1865 before coming to this province with her husband and family, is featured as part of a weekly historical feature in the Free Press celebrating the province's 150th anniversary taken from the archives of the Manitoba Historical Society.
"Over a century ago, this exceptional woman was beginning a career which would lead to a way of life in which her entire being would be fully engaged — wife and mother, physician and friend, pioneer and humanitarian," the article, written by Helen Pollitt Smith in 1975, says. "She gave unstintingly of her skills and abilities, her warmth and generosity and in doing so became a beloved legend in her own lifetime."
Creativity continues flowing
Many things have come to a halt during the pandemic, but one that hasn't is creativity.
A Free Press article by Frances Koncan showed that three artists — a musician, actor and dancer — have been doing to pursue their creative passions while facing restrictions.
Dancer Anastasia Evsigneeva may have been forced to stay home, while losing performance opportunities and her work as a dance teacher, but it didn't stop her from performing online for Edmonton's Mile Zero Dance on International Dance Day, working on a short dance film, or creating her own dance company.
"I hope it will be a small start for a big journey," Evsigneeva said.
Reconciliation teaches and entertains seniors
Shannon Chartrand is director of care at River Park Gardens personal care home and she recently was able to bring both entertainment and education to seniors thereby following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call for action.
Chartrand, and other staff members, celebrated Indigenous People's Day on June 21 at the personal care home by having Indigenous dancers, building medicine wheels, and offering gifts of tobacco.
"The recognition that Indigenous traditions, teachings and celebrations are not an exercise in being politically correct, but are an intrinsic part of our shared Canadian identity — well, it's nothing short of inspiring to behold," she wrote.
Real estate as hot as weather
Temperatures have been rising in recent weeks and so has the local real estate market.
Not only did WinnipegREALTORS report June sales were up this year, but they are also up almost across the board compared to the same month last year.
"If you asked me how things were looking back in March or April, I'd never have predicted this outcome," said Peter Squire, vice-president of market intelligence at WinnipegREALTORS. "I'd say we're definitely pleasantly surprised."