Supporting Community Services – Everyone Wins!



May 30, 2014

OpenConcept prides itself on supporting the community, and takes action to do so in several ways – one of which is encouraging staff to volunteer with community groups and services that they are passionate about, and getting behind that volunteer work by allowing for flexible hours and through corporate charitable donations.

I've been volunteering for the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region (DCOR) for about five years now, and I'm so grateful for the support Mike Gifford has shown for this service and my involvement in it since I began working at OpenConcept at the end of 2011.

The Distress Centre is a free 24/7 phone line that provides compassionate, non-judgmental listening and support, helpful referals to relevant community services and real help in times of crisis. It's a service and an organization I'm very proud to be a part of.

On Wednesday, May 28, I had the privelege of attending the Distress Centre's big event, the Annual Chocolate Affair Gala. Not only did OpenConcept buy me a ticket to attend the Gala, but I was also lucky enough to win a ticket that was donated to DCOR for a volunteer to attend, which meant I could take a friend too.

What an amazing evening!

A photo of a box of chocoloates with a few missingIt was great to see the DCOR staff and other volunteers, who I don't get to chat with very often. There were delicious free samples from several vendors, a huge silent auction, a chocolate-dipped fruit bouquet to graze at, amazing gift bags for every attendee, and a box of chocolates at every table. There was also chocolate in every course of the meal!

A free photo booth with fun accessories to make silly memories, and of course, a crew of firefighters walking around selling raffle tickets really added to the awesome gala atmosphere.

It turned out to be an extremely lucky night for me. My friend and I were sitting at the table that won the "Mystery Envelope" prize - a gift bag full of MORE chocolate and other goodies for each person at our table. I won my silent auction bid for tickets to three museums in Ottawa. And... the big raffle prize of a round trip for two anywhere Westjet flies!! Wow!

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Thanks so much to the Distress Centre staff and fellow volunteers, to Westjet and the City of Ottawa for donating awesome auction items and prizes, all the vendors for participating, to the firefighters for their time and service, the Ottawa Convention Centre for a lovely venue and great food, and of course to OpenConcept for sending me to this event!!

Now to decide where to go on vacation...

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