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A new way to pay it forward at the Ottawa Mission

By Apartment613 on May 21, 2018


By Geneviève Gazaille. Geneviève is a member of the Ottawa Mission Foundation’s Young Professionals Network executive, a communications consultant, an occasional contributor to Apt613 and is passionate about food systems and community engagement. Follow her online at @gengazaille.

On Thursday May 24, the Young Professionals Network of the Ottawa Mission Foundation will be inaugurating its first official event at Craft Beer Market. For $15, you get a drink, food, really cool door prizes and an opportunity to mix and mingle with other young professionals who have their community at heart.

YPN on a Mission is what it’s called, and its first executive committee was recruited last summer. Ten young professionals of all horizons are currently involved and have been busy establishing terms of reference, exchanging ideas on the direction to take to support the Mission and participating in fundraising activities.

The spring social and mixer will be an opportunity to present the network, get a pulse of fellow millennials’ community involvement and recruit members. “It’s no secret: the Ottawa Mission and the Foundation have an aging volunteer and donor base,” says Matt Triemstra, YPN on a Mission co-chair and board member of The Ottawa Mission. “It’s simply the reality for many non-profit organizations, and to stay relevant and impactful moving into the future, we have to gain some insights into what speaks to the younger generation about how they make their donation decisions. We can all work together to combat homelessness in our city and I think Ottawa’s millennials – who know the value of an education – have a real leading role to play.”

Part of the objective of YPN is to break down the stigma surrounding homelessness, raise awareness and get rid of the idea that the Ottawa Mission is a shelter plain and simple. It’s not. Beyond providing meals and beds, it offers a vast array of services including employment and training resources, a medical and dental clinic, a hospice, long-term housing and even university-level classes taught by professors from all three Ottawa universities!

In conjunction with educating, YPN aims to fundraise and find new sources of revenue for the Ottawa Mission and its foundation. Each member is therefore asked to make a financial contribution. In exchange, every year, YPN’s executive gets to decide where the money is directed within the organization. In 2017-18, the committee chose to invest its money towards the educational programs of the Ottawa Mission.

By becoming a member of YPN on a Mission, young professionals will not only demonstrate their commitment to alleviating homelessness but will get to meet and network with dynamic individuals, have a chance to be actively involved through the network’s sub-committees, gain precious experience for the future and have insider and discounted access to YPN on a Mission events.

To learn more about YPN on a Mission or purchase your ticket for the May 24th event, visit the YPN page on the Ottawa Mission website.