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Thursday, October 6, 2016 10:27 AM
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 5:34 AM
- We are thrilled to be on track to have 20 women completed One Spark’s Entrepreneurship Program by the end of 2016. We introduced group programming to great success this year, which has allowed us to reach more women simultaneously and to encourage natural support and business networking opportunities among the women participating. We are looking forward to building on key learnings and outcomes in order to expand the group programming format in 2017.
- In June of this year, One Spark was honoured and grateful to be chosen to receive funding through the MasterCard Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Giving Campaign. The funds we received have been critical in expanding the reach and impact of our Entrepreneurship Program and we want to acknowledge and thank the MasterCard Foundation for such a wonderful initiative.
- Also in June of this year, we were thrilled to once again work with the amazing team at CCI Studios to launch One Spark’s “Be A Maverick” Campaign, encouraging men to speak out on the issue of violence against women. CCI’s creative genius helped us bring to life an important and meaningful grassroots campaign started by the Original Maverick, Joe Palko. We are continuing to promote and expand the campaign to engage as many men as possible in using their voices to end violence. Thank you to the always-fabulous team at CCI for being true partners in our work to end violence. Check out the campaign at beamaverick.org.
- In September, 2015 we held our 2nd Annual Golf Tournament, which was a tremendous success and brought out a fabulous group of golfers and supporters. We are incredibly excited to be holding our 2016 tournament in partnership with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association. This amazing partnership gives us an invaluable platform to share the work of One Spark and to expand our fundraising efforts. We are so grateful to our Board member, Flavio Volpe, for highlighting our work to APMA members and fostering this partnership opportunity. The tournament will be held on September 22, 2016 at Granite Ridge Golf Course: we’re hoping to see you there! http://one-spark.ca/2016-golf-tournament
- 2016 also marked the first year that the Women Moving Forward Conference was presented under the One Spark banner. We are incredibly proud of and grateful for the partnership we have developed with the WMF Conference Committee. It is an important opportunity for One Spark to be connected to an event that provides networking, learning and personal growth opportunities for women as well as to provide the women who attend the conference with exposure to One Spark programming: a perfect match for growing and expanding our mission and work.
- Over the past year, we have continued to develop our Professional Advisory Committee and to consider how professionals from a variety of key functional business areas can support the women entrepreneurs we are working with. Our Professional Advisory Committee has been such a wealth of expertise and support and we look forward to fostering ongoing community support through this wonderful group.
- We are so grateful to have expanded our corporate support network over the past year, including being the beneficiaries of events and initiatives led by Energi PR and Thrive Fit. Thank you to these amazing organizations for connecting our work to yours.
- There were some truly wonderful community events that happened this year that were coordinated through our unfailingly wonderful and committed volunteer and advocate, Heather Lapier. Over the past year, Heather organized a Karma Class at Inner Dawn Yoga and a contest through Handmade for you Love Lu for the benefit of One Spark. We love the opportunity to highlight our work through innovative and creative channels like these: thank you, Heather!
- Finally, but not at all least, we have had the opportunity over the past year to connect with other partners and service providers in the community to consider how we can bring our respective work together to maximum impact. We’ve made critical connections with organizations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Women’s Rural Resource Centre in Strathroy. We’ve also connected to an incredible network of business coaches that offer ongoing business development coaching and mentorship to the women that participate in One Spark’s Entrepreneurship Program. We had the amazing opportunity over the course of this year to have Janice Gerol – the Vice President of International Business Operations for Pampered Chef – to provide an advisory/mentorship session. Thank you to the community partners that work with us in the spirit of collaboration: the benefits of community connection are so critical to our work.
Friday, June 10, 2016 4:56 AM
One Spark Executive Director
Monday, April 11, 2016 5:53 PM
The simple truth is that One Spark would not exist without the amazing people that lend us their wellspring of incredible gifts: gifts of time, of talent, of financial support, and of love for our vision of a world where no woman faces financial and economic barriers to living a life without violence.
Two and a half years ago, when One Spark came into being, those volunteers totaled seven. Today, we are honoured and blessed to have an ever-growing host of volunteers that translate our vision into action. Jo-Anne, Flavio, Marlo, Howie, Danielle, Lynn, Lynden and Rachel are at the forefront of our volunteer team as our inimitable Board of Directors. To be sure, I include our other wonderful Jo-Ann in this group for her unbelievable willingness to volunteer to take minutes at all of our meetings. To even begin to speak about this group is emotional and overwhelming to me, as they are a non-profit dream team in the depth of their generosity, thoughtfulness, knowledge, sincerity, and senses of humour. They continue to breathe life, energy and joy into One Spark, and National Volunteer Week is a wonderful opportunity for me to say out loud that my gratitude for each of them runs incredibly deep.
In the same breath that I share my appreciation for our Board of Directors, I want to acknowledge Heather, another unfailing volunteer that has transitioned her previous Board role into an on-the-ground advocate role in which she has been an unwavering champion of One Spark's work and a voice that has engaged donors, supporters, mentors and community partners for the benefit of our work. She is a force that constantly amazes.
In a previous blog post I shared my thoughts about our Professional Advisory Committee and I want to say again that this group's insights and commitment to our work represent part of One Spark's evolution that we are so proud of and grateful for. Thank you to our amazing committee members. Likewise, the incredible volunteers that plan and support our golf tournament are the heart and soul of an event that is integral to funding our work through the year. Thank you for making the golf tournament an annual highlight and an absolute joy to prepare for. We are also grateful this year to be working with a spectacular group of women that plan and carry out the Women Moving Forward Conference.
While these represent our core volunteer groups, every day and in a million different ways One Spark is impacted by the goodness of the people that surround us and touch our work in immeasurable ways. Volunteer energy is what powers our organization: generous hearts and hands fuel our capacity to carry out our mission. For that, I am sincerely and deeply grateful.
One Spark Executive Director
Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:41 AM
Saturday, March 5, 2016 11:13 AM
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 10:07 AM
- It was sitting with a dear friend that was like a brother to me in despair at his mom’s apartment a few days after she died. As I listened to him recount her life, I noticed that he was telling it in chapters of the violence she experienced, and I came to the devastating realization that her story of abuse was also his story of abuse, and that she died never really having escaped it.
- It was August 8 and May 16: two days when my life changed forever with the birth of my daughters and, as a mom, I started to constantly think about the “what ifs”.
- It was 6 months working with child protection workers at the Children’s Aid Society as we compiled indisputable statistical evidence telling us that in a home where mom is abused, the children are likely abused and vice versa.
- In the course of that same research, it was reading the Ontario Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Gillian Hadley whose final act as a mom was to struggle to get her front door open long enough to get her 1-year old child outside and into a neighbour’s arms before she was killed, and knowing that not being able to afford alternative housing was one of the reasons she was still in her family home that day.
- It’s the fact that Ontario now has Jared’s law because another little 8 year old boy in Brantford didn’t make it out the front door when he was caught in the crossfire of domestic violence.
- It was sitting around a table with a group of violence survivors and listening to them agree that the scariest day of their life was not the day they went into a shelter, but the day they left its security and protection.
- It’s been listening to the news over the past 18 months and thinking about how many women don’t get daily coverage of the fear they are living with, or the survival strategies they are putting in place every day.
- And now it’s the amazing, courageous, strong, resilient women we work with at One Spark that say all they want is to live free of the fear, shame, guilt, and denigration that they’ve experienced and that they know, given this chance to generate income and stand on their own, that they will finally come to see that they have much to bring to the table and are so much more than their violent experiences.