Pinawa Foundation Attends National Confernece

Through the generosity of the Winnipeg Foundation, the Thomas Sill Foundation, the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company and Acsion Industries, Chris Saunders, chairman of the Pinawa Foundation, recently attended the 11th National Conference of Community Foundations of Canada in Vancouver. The conference was attended by 675 delegates from the 178 community foundations in Canada, plus delegates from 22 other countries.Dr David Johnston

The conference began with an inspiring presentation by the Governor General. Dr David Johnston is an excellent story teller. He challenged us to be our best through the work that we do, to build on the inherent assets and strengths of our communities and to look out for and care for one another.

He told a wonderful story about his Hutterite neighbours near his farm in Waterloo, Ontario. He and his wife were trying to figure out how much insurance to purchase for their barn. They asked a Hutterite friend for advice. Their friend asked them why they needed insurance at all.

“If we have a fire, how will we rebuild our barn?” asked Dr. Johnston. His friend said “If you have a fire, we will rebuild your farm.”

Dr. Johnston also told us about how a friend “turned water in to wine” – using red food dye to transform a glass of water in to one resembling red wine at a children’s magic show. One simple drop. He likened it to this to the work of Mother Theresa at her orphanage – how one small drop can spread. He suggested that we think about the impact that our work will have – one small drop at a time.

The conference continued for three days, with continuous presentations about all aspects of community foundations. There were other well-known speakers including President Bill Clinton discussing the work of the Clinton Foundation and the philanthropic challenges facing the world today. President Clinton cited that now, more than ever, it is critical that CF’s turn their “good intentions into outcomes”. Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu talked on the theme “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges; the foolish build dams”.

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