Don B.

East St. Paul, MB
Nominated by Rhonda Gardner

Volunteered for:

Meals on Wheels

Length of Service:

15 hours per month for 8 years

Volunteered for:

Manitoba Figure Skating Association

Length of Service:

30 hours per month for 38 years

Volunteered for:

Christmas Cheer Board (November/December)

Length of Service:

80+ hours per month for 10 years

February 24, 2014

Dear Nominating Committee,

I was so pleased to learn of the opportunity to nominate Don Brown for recognition for his years of dedication both professionally and as a volunteer.

Don's career began in the Canadian Armed Forces where for 35 years he dedicated his life to Canada. His first assignment was for the army, he then transferred to the Canadian Air Force where he was a Major in personnel administration. During this time Don, his wife and children were stationed overseas.

I met Don approximately 7 years ago on the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels Winnipeg. In 2010, Don was part of the selection committee that hired me as the Executive Director for this organization. On a personal level over the years I have held Don in the highest regard. Don is a gentle giant and has mentored me and helped me with the reorganization of Meals on Wheels. When I became ED our organization was facing some monumental challenges, Don's calm demeanor, business knowledge and experience as a volunteer have contributed greatly to our being able to turn things around and assure the success and long term commitment to the citizens of Winnipeg who are in need of our program. In 2013, we proudly delivered approximately 160,000 meals. As well as serving on the Board of Directors as secretary, Don is a volunteer driver, dispatcher and provides training to new volunteer drivers. He genuinely and deeply cares for the well-being of our clients, volunteers and staff. Whenever we are short of a driver, we can count on Don. Often he will drive 2 routes in one day if we are very short of volunteers. Don first heard of our need for volunteers when he heard a radio ad, he had recently retired from working full time and was looking for a way to provide a much need service. We have mutually benefited from Don's involvement and hope that he continues to do so for many years to come.

Skate Canada is dedicated to providing Canadians the opportunity to participate in skating throughout their lifetime for fun, fitness, and achievement.(1) In 1986, Don's children wanted to learn how to skate. Don had concerns about how the club was being run and felt he could help the organization improve to benefit all the skaters. 38 years later Don is still involved and is the Accounting/Data Specialist for Manitoba and sits on the Board of Directors, Don represents Manitoba on the National Board of Skate Canada. He dedicates 30 hours per month from April to November, and from December to March his volunteer hours increase to 100 hours per month. Don enjoys seeing the smiles on the faces of the skaters, their families and supporters when they have completed their program and have done so to the best of their ability. I am confident that Don's many contributions and support to the organization have contributed to the personal success of each of the skaters who go on to compete nationally and internationally.

The Cheer Board provides assistance to families receiving Employment Income Assistance as well many of the working poor. More than half of all the food and toys are donated by individuals and companies, the balance of everything that is required is purchased by the Cheer Board. Volunteers look after all aspects of the Cheer Board and involves almost 5,000 people. Hampers are packed by school children, seniors knit all year to provide little extra gifts, volunteer drivers deliver all the hampers and individuals, community groups and companies help raise the money needed.(2) Don got involved with the Cheer Board 10 years ago after hearing an ad looking for volunteer drivers to deliver hampers. After one year of being a volunteer driver, the organization realized that Don had tremendous organizational skills and was asked to help coordinate the administration of the program. In 2013, 19,000 hampers were delivered to those in need. In the months of November and December, Don volunteers 100 hours per month.

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." Albert Schweitzer These words eloquently describe Don. It is my hope that this information will help in the nomination of Don Brown for Manitoba and as the National Recipient of this reward.

Thank you for your kind consideration,
Rhonda Gardner
Executive Director
Meals on Wheels Winnipeg

(1) Skate Canada Website
(2) Christmas Cheer Board Website

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Nominations - 86

Votes - 11,924

Prize Description

The National Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $5,000 donation, courtesy of Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network. Each Local Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $500 donation. All Winners will receive a certificate and a spot in the Contest’s “Wall of Fame” here on in recognition of their outstanding service.

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