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L to R: Heather Dewar and Rachel Boere. Photo courtesy of Awesome Ottawa.

Awesome Ottawa: July award goes to Community Supported Gratitude project

By Awesome Ottawa on July 22, 2020

July’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Heather Dewar, Rachel Boere, and Mary Paquet, to support weekly giveaways of products from local businesses in recognition of everyday people.

“We are three community builders, storytellers, and locally minded women who, in looking for meaning and a way to give back, developed Community Supported Gratitude,” explains Heather. “A couple of Zoom-storming sessions yielded this initiative—which is by community, for community.”

“Every week,” she continues, “we purchase gifts worth about $100 from local businesses. Then, community members do the nominating. Folks are invited to nominate someone who is working hard right now, someone they’re grateful for, or someone who could just use a pick-me-up. Our team reviews these nominations and delivers the gift package to someone new each Friday, sharing the story about the recipient on social media. The goal is simple—to connect our community on a personal level and to support local businesses.”

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Exciting news! 📢 We’re launching a weekly giveaway called ✨Community Supported Gratitude✨!⠀ ⠀ Here’s how it works: ⠀ 👉We purchase gifts ($100 value) from local businesses ⠀ 👉You click the link in our bio to nominate someone! Maybe it’s someone who is working hard right now, someone you’re grateful for, or someone who could just use a pick-me-up!⠀ 👉We deliver a gift package to someone new each Friday & share a story about the winner⠀ ⠀ The goal? Simple – connect our community on a personal level & support small businesses. It’s by community, for community. Find the nomination form at the link in our bio! First gift package is going out in 1 week 🙌 💛 #CommunitySupportedGratitude

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“We recognize that the current situation is both difficult for people personally and economically challenging for local businesses,” Heather explains. “Our aim is to brighten the day of the recipients and support local businesses through direct purchases and the associated promotion. And soliciting nominations from the community gives people a chance to recognize and celebrate each other.”

Community Supported Gratitude, which is operating in partnership with Together Apart, has given out 11 gift packages so far. These have included items from three dozen local businesses. Recipients have included a nurse at the Safe Injection Site at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, the team at the Elgin Street Dollarama, and a neighbour who has been supporting her local community with freshly baked treats and more.

To learn more about past recipients and gift packages, follow Together Apart on Instagram at @togetherott. To nominate someone, visit

Heather, Rachel, and Mary are three friends who met while working at a local non-profit. One is still working there, and the other two are now freelancers and consultants.

Awesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. At each chapter, 10 or so “trustees” each contribute $100 every month, and review short applications received online to decide on the recipient of their pooled funds—usually a local project, but occasionally a particularly awesome one far away from home. Globally, more than $4.5 million has already been awarded–$127,000 of that by Awesome Ottawa.