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Community Foundation of Swan Valley

Leaving an everlasting legacy for the Swan River Valley, Manitoba, Canada

Story – December 4, 2014

Chairman’s Report for 2013-14 Annual Report

— By Keith Behrmann from Annual Report for July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 —

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Have you ever thought about community and what it means? I am certain that when asked, people would provide a variety of opinions based on their own experiences and values. Community can be the bricks and mortar, services offered, friends, neighbours and all things in between. All too often we take what is offered by community for granted. Pause and reflect for a minute. Consider what we have and enjoy. How many services, activities, recreational opportunities and facilities exist due, in no small part, to the generosity of those who offer their gift of time and talents and treasures? What would our communities look like if no one volunteered? It would be, in my opinion, a very sad cold and inhospitable place. Facilities would fall in to disrepair. Children would be in the streets as there would be no organized sports. Cancer patients missing their treatments because there was no one to drive them.

Conversely what would our communities look like if everyone gave of themselves? What is it that prevents people from giving their time, talents or treasures? Some say they have no time and yet some of the busiest people I know are the best volunteers. The cup is half empty people would say “I am only one person what difference can I make”? Ask the people of India or South Africa. Did Ghandi or Mandela make a difference? Let’s come closer to home and ask the same question. Did Terry Fox make a difference? Come even closer and look at Hannah Taylor born in Winnipeg in 1996 and the Founder of the Ladybug Foundation which had its genesis in 2001. She was 5 years old. Yes you can make a difference, in someone’s life, in the community where you reside, creating a legacy for others to build on. In the words of Winston Churchill, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give”. The choice is yours.