Q: How do I get involved with your ‘Do a kindness campaign’?

A: By now, there is a good chance you’ve seen the Resource Centre’s Do A Kindness campaign on colourful banners, posters and buses around town, as well as in social media posts and videos on Instagram and Facebook. All of the stories are posted in detail on our “Do a Kindness” website, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you can get to know the inspiring work happening in our communities at doakindness.ca.

This awareness campaign is part of our Poverty Reduction Project. The campaign recognizes kind gestures and actions of people doing their best to build community, help out, and ultimately tackle poverty locally.

Poverty affects 12.6 per cent of our Sunshine Coast population, or more than 4,000 individuals, as well as one in five children. You are considered to be living in poverty if you make less than $2,100 per month as a single person or $3,333 as a family of four in B.C.

Our Resource Centre executive director Katie Clogg, says that the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the issue of poverty in our community while also looking at community solutions. “Poverty reduction is everyone’s responsibility. We can all help out like Dawn and Tom who drive to Pender Harbour from Egmont each week to replenish local food bank supplies; like Jake, who volunteers his time driving for an hour or two each week, getting people to essential medical appointments or delivering groceries; or like Colten, who advocates to government for policy change; we can all afford to Do a Kindness, we just have to figure out what way works best for us.”

Communications coordinator for the project, Sarah Tesla says she personally moved here three years ago, and has been working hard to understand local challenges since her arrival.

“We have a lot of new people who have moved to the Coast recently and may not know what’s going on here when it comes to poverty. Connecting them with this campaign is a way to give people a chance to understand the situation. There are a lot of social issues, and a lot of need.”

If you want to get involved with the campaign, there are a number of ways to do so.

The Do a Kindness campaign initially received dozens of nominations from the community. The vision for the project is to continue to share as many stories as possible. People can continue to nominate locals who are doing their part to help tackle poverty, and it’s OK to nominate yourself! In addition, the campaign wants to hear the stories of your own lived experience, including resources or solutions you have found helpful in your life. Email nominations and stories to Sarah Tesla: sarah.tesla@resourcecentre.ca.

If you are inspired to volunteer: The Do a Kindness website offers suggestions on organizations working to tackle poverty locally that you can connect with. Or, connect with the Resource Centre’s new volunteer Sunshine Coast coordinator at volunteersc@resourcecentre.ca or 604-885-4088.

If you are in a position to donate: the Resource Centre has partnered with the Sunshine Coast Foundation to create a poverty reduction fund to help us measure progress on poverty reduction on the Coast. You can find this on our website at www.resourcecentre.ca, and scroll to the area in blue that says “Help Fund Projects.” Or, donate to one of the many amazing non-profits on the Coast doing important poverty reduction work.

As well, we need your feedback! We now have a survey up to collect feedback from the community about this campaign. Each person’s input will help us inform future public education projects. Find the survey at www.doakindness.ca, and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Follow the campaign: Website: www.resourcecentre.ca/doakindness ; Instagram: @doakindness ; Facebook: @sunshinecoastresourcecentre ; Questions/comments: sarah.tesla@resourcecentre.ca.

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2pm. Contact us: help@resourcecentre.ca or 604-885-4088