Andree has been the Events Officer at Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver for nearly two years. She works with community members, partners and sponsors of all sizes to build fundraising events and campaigns, all in support of children and youth development through essential volunteer-led mentoring programs.
With over 7 years in the non-profit and charity industry, she has developed a wide-array of projects, from large scale fundraising initiatives building homes for families with corporate community partners to community engagement events supporting local infrastructure and youth in underserved communities.
We asked Andree some questions to get to know her better!
What does a typical day look like for you?
No day is ever the same, in the life of an Events Officer it is always different which is something I really love about it, it never gets boring! Event days start at 5:00am; packing a truck with everything from sponsor gifts and signs to table cloths and organizing the volunteers for a great day, directing photographers, welcoming sponsors, arranging catering, organizing and displaying marketing materials, managing volunteers and making sure all pieces fall carefully into place. While office days are spent working with sponsors, venues, volunteers and donors, building auctions, picking up materials from new donors, and finding unique and creative ways to bring experiences to life.
What does mentoring mean to you and who is a mentor that has impacted your life?
Mentors are advisers, teachers, sources of knowledge and guidance in careers, jobs, schools and life choices. Above all, mentors are motivators and role models, who believe in their mentees, see their potential and help them get to where they want to go even if they don’t know where that is just yet. During my youth, I believe I would have floundered without a mentor. I would not have known what to do, what schools to attend, what career to pursue, what classes to take or what steps to take to become an adult. It is with the support of my ski coach and mentor ‘Smitty’ as I call him affectionately, that I was able to steer the course when I lost by father during High School to Kidney Failure and who I still call on to this day for his support and guidance.
What would you tell yourself at age 13?
There is a great big world out there; just work hard, stay strong and keep your head up and you will get a chance to explore it. Through exploration you will find the importance of Ubuntu, ‘I am; because of you.’ Nelson Mandela describes Ubuntu, “In the old days when we were young, a traveller through a country would stop at a village, and he didn’t have to ask for food or water; once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is, are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you, and enable it to improve? These are important things in life. And if you can do that, you have done something very important.”