By Deron Hamel
One of the great things Belonging Brant delivers is a supportive environment that helps people actualize their visions to build a stronger community, says Shannon Pickering.
She has experienced this first-hand.
The creator of an initiative called the Kindness Card Project, Shannon says she immediately found encouragement and support when she pitched an idea to Belonging Brant to host make-and-take events that have generated lots of interest.
The Kindness Card Project is an initiative aimed at building community connections by creating handwritten cards with words of kindness and sending them to people.
“It was so important to me to have that extra support. (Belonging Brant has) truly helped make my dreams come true, and helped foster the community connectedness and sense of belonging I wanted the Kindness Card Project to achieve.”
Kindness Cards also include a blank card with a stamped envelope for recipients to send their own words of kindness to another person.
“I wanted people to be able to make kindness cards and be able to take them to give to their friends and loved ones,” Shannon says, adding she wanted to make the project inclusive for everyone.
“I also wanted a way for those who may have difficulty with literacy and writing to have an opportunity to participate in my initiative. Belonging Brant has been amazing in supporting my make-and-take event, inviting me several times to host events at A Place to Be.”
Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Belonging Brant is dedicated to creating connections and building relationships across Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations to help people contribute to their community in a meaningful way.
The project, which creates and encourages citizen-led initiatives, is particularly focused on creating opportunities for human connection and decreasing the isolation faced by so many in the community.
Shannon says when she approached Belonging Brant earlier this year to host make-and-take events for the Kindness Card Project, those involved with the initiative were on board right away and have remained supportive.
“Belonging Brant’s staff have been so supportive, and those who partake in these events are amazing,” Shannon says.
“It was so important to me to have that extra support. They have truly helped make my dreams come true, and helped foster the community connectedness and sense of belonging I wanted the Kindness Card Project to achieve.”
Belonging Brant, she adds, helped give the Kindness Card Project the spark it needed to flourish even more.
“(Belonging Brant) has meant a lot to me because I really didn’t know where to start,” Shannon says.
“The make-and-take events have been one of the most rewarding aspects of the Kindness Card Project, and I couldn’t have done it without Belonging Brant.”
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What If Belonging Brant Became a Lasting Community Beacon?
Belonging Brant is already a light in our community. It is the place to be. With three years under our belt and our initial funding coming to an end this October, we have the opportunity to fashion our future anew. We’d love to hear what you’ve loved about Belonging Brant, what you’d like for it to become, and what you might like to do to make that dream come true. Consider taking a few minutes to share your answers to these questions.
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