Last year at this time I wrote about being thankful for the time my family and I spent living in the US (and all the great memories) and the return to Canada (that likely extended my stay on this planet).
Giving Thanks (11/25/15)
We still celebrate the holiday because it became part of our lives and for us, kicks off the Christmas / Holiday season. It also allows us to think about what we have and reflect on our good fortune and take the time to consider those that have not had such good fortune.
My wife and I have had the great pleasure to be involved with the folks at New Circles over the last year. These are people who dedicate their lives (or a very large chunk of them) to helping those who have not had such good fortune, try to get to a bit of a better place.
It starts by making sure that they have clothing (Gently Loved Outfits to Wear or GLOW) that they can shop for (without cost) in a dignified setting, but goes much further and helps them to begin to grow into productive members of the community with skills training and social programs.
We had the wonderful opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony last summer. There was a great deal of pride and accomplishment in that room and it was moving to say the least. People who had come, with basically nothing, to live in Canada were ready to become independent members of the community in a very positive way.
At High Rock we recently met with a new Canadian (referred by Cindy, the founder of New Circles) who was educated, trained and worked in the world of investment finance in a developing nation. He had packed up his family and taken the bold step of trying to create a better life for them. We helped him develop his "value proposition" for marketing himself as an expert in emerging markets and build a successful resume.
At this time of year, one of our favourite programs is the Holiday Angels , where donors are matched with families in need who provide a wish list which includes items such as clothing, kitchen wares, toys and giftcards for groceries. The notes of thanks from small children and their parents in past years have touched us deeply. Many are in sheer awe of the kindness of strangers.
So for us it is not just a time for giving thanks, but a time for giving to make the spirit of the holiday season a meaningful time.
So thank you to Cindy, Alykhan, Diana and all the staff for allowing us the privilege to be part of the New Circles family, it has enriched us and opened our eyes and our hearts.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist