Generations of Kindness
There are many things I love about our annual gala at the farm: showcases the farm (we’ve even had a request to hold a wedding at our farm), the vegetarian menu is created just for us, it’s always a gorgeous sunny day, our guests and volunteers make the “best dressed” list with their cocktail attire and boots. But what I am most proud of, is that our gala is child and animal friendly – which makes it so much more work – but is so worth it.
Now that’s something special and makes us stand out from you typical gala at a golf course or hotel. And that definitely is in keeping with our mission to serve children and animals.
I love that our young volunteers are part of our gala team and “own” their role in making the gala a success. I love that our volunteer’s families are part of our gala team, dinner guests and become part of our farm family.
(Look for future blog post on our volunteer husbands, wives, partners, sisters, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews – oh my)
(Photo credit: Keith Grant 604-916-2503)
From our very first mom and daughter volunteer team in 2012, to our mom, older and younger daughter volunteering every year at the gala, to our grandmother, granddaughter and grandson volunteering with animal care, to our mom and older daughter who volunteer with animal care, to two moms, who volunteer even with two young children: one is our marketing guru working online from home, and one brings her young son and brand new baby to the SALI office once a week and online at home to work on grant writing. I love the inclusiveness of volunteer opportunities at SALI’s Farm. Why would any organization, for-profit or non-profit, small or large, not want to harness all the gifts that so many women have to offer at all stages of their lives? I think this has become an important part of our environment at SALI’s Farm because of my experience as a mom.
I remember as a brand new mom (1985), it seemed I almost had to pretend that I didn’t have a family at home if I wanted to keep my job. I was so torn, between doing my job to the same degree as before kids (which meant lots of overtime), to being there when my kids needed me. It became too stressful for me and I eventually quit BC Tel. A company that I absolutely loved working for before I had children. A career that I absolutely loved and wanted to remain in.
Then going back to work when my kids where all in school (1998), this time in drafting, and having again to pretend that I didn’t have a family that needed me during work hours (sick days, medical appointments, grade 7 graduation ceremonies, the list goes on). This one company I worked for, I felt like I had gone back in time they were so restrictive. Any time taken during work hours, no matter what the reason, we had to make that time up. There was only one phone for the whole floor and we could only be on the phone during the 10:00 and 2:00 coffee breaks. What a stressful environment for any parent.
I guess my general message is, moms and dads, especially new moms and dads, don’t need to be treated special, they just need to be treated with kindness and empathy. It’s a tough job being a parent and any thought and consideration that can be given to that fact in the work/volunteer force will make for a better work/volunteer environment. Trust me, I witness it every week at SALI’s Farm. It’s an amazing culture to be part of.
Families volunteering/working together, this is how to pass down generational kindness and is the future of SALI’s Farm and of a better world.
The Denroche Clan: Rachel Denroche, Heather Hann, Eryn Denroche, Dan Dixon, Mark Hann, Adam Rogers
(Photo credit: Keith Grant 604-916-2503)
The Studiothink Team who are like family: Henrietta Table Hosts
True Blue Wire Family & Friends: Jamaica Table Hosts
WestX & The Hann Clan: Clyde Table Hosts
p.s. This post is not meant to exclude dads – this post is reflecting on my personal mom experience and our moms/grandmothers family teams at the farm. At the moment we don’t have any dads/grandfathers family teams at the farm, but we would love to.