In October, Michele Rule logged onto Facebook where she saw an invitation to apply for Interior Savings’ $10,000 Local Give. Immediately, Michele knew she wanted to participate. After all, $100 can go far when you set your mind to it.
Being disabled and housebound with a rare illness called Trigeminal Neuralgia, Michele saw Local Give as an opportunity to break free from any physical barriers and spread kindness in her community. After discussing some ideas with her husband, Frithjof, and her mum, Arina, they decided to do something special for the youth and staff at the Emergency Youth Shelter located at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs – an organization that holds a special place in their hearts.
“About two years ago, my son brought a friend home who had been couch-surfing for a long time,” began Michele. “She stayed with us for about three months until things settled. It was at that time I first made contact with the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs. I was impressed by their compassion and the positive impact they’re having on young lives.”
With the decision made on what organization would benefit, Michele reached out to her community with an invitation to join in on her act of local good; her community did not disappoint! In Michele’s words: “the response was simply overwhelming!”
Friends, family and Michele’s social media community, rallied together to help raise over $450 to create goodie bags for those staying at the youth shelter. The bags included essentials such as socks, mittens, toiletries, as well as some gift cards and treats from Globally Fair, a local fair trade shop.
Thanks to donations from their local Starbucks, they were also able to show their appreciation to the dedicated team who provide support to youth accessing services at the shelter. “I wanted to make sure the staff knew how important the work they do really is,” said Michele. “They were just in tears. They were so grateful.”
At the end of the day, Michele and her community’s act of kindness had a direct impact on the 10 young people staying at the shelter and the six staff members who work there. Her efforts also had an indirect impact on countless others who helped support the initiative because, as Michele says, “knowing that they helped spread kindness in our community is rewarding in itself.”
But, there’s more!
Michele’s Local Good story was selected as the winning entry in a contest offered by Do Some Good: a partner of Interior Savings whose mission is to build strong local communities across Canada. What did Michele win? $1000 to a charity of her choice! Needless to say, Michele chose to make the donation to Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.
“I couldn’t have imagined that our idea would turn out like this!” concluded Michele. “It was truly heartwarming to be able to give back in this way, and winning the additional $1000 for an organization that does so much in our community… well, that was the icing on the cake! I’m so grateful to Interior Savings for creating this campaign and encouraging great things to happen in our community.”
And we’re grateful for you! A heartfelt thanks to you, Michele, and those who supported your Local Give project. You’ve shown us there are no bounds in how far creativity and kindness can take you.