...and excited and touched by all of the support that surrounded the New Circles fundraising event in which we took part on Monday (US Memorial Day, with US markets closed).
I came accross New Circles a number of years ago through a colleague who participated in the "Holiday Angel" program (http://newcircles.ca/get-involved/seasonal-giving/holiday-angel-program ) and invited us to donate alongside.
The outpouring of thanks that we received (letters from little children and their parents) were so full of gratitude that it touched me deeply and I decided that I wanted to be more involved. So we did: at the personal level and the corporate level.
In a nutshell, New Circles provides a wonderful avenue of support for those in need of clothing, so that they can focus on the necessary resources to properly shelter and feed themselves (especially new Canadians who have need of winter things, etc.).
And they do it in a way that allows those families to shop for those clothes (free of charge) in a dignified way, in an appropriate store-like setting.
I have taken a few of my Friday mornings over the last few months to help sort clothes and believe me, the quality of those previously "gently loved" outfits are truly like new (or they are donated elsewhere). It is remarkable how much really good stuff they are able to draw.
Beyond clothing, New Circles also offers skills training, social programs (language tutoring) and youth programs to help integrate these folks into the community.
All the of the staff and volunteers that help out also offer an excellent example of how a community can come together in all races and creeds to assist those that are in need.
I cannot put into words how uplifting that can be.
So when founder Cindy Blakely approached me to thank me for our contributions, all I could say to her was: "no Cindy, thank you for giving me the opportunity to rub shoulders with people like you. It is utterly inspiring!"
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Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist