Community Investment Specialist, Vancity
I am taking the Welfare Food Challenge because when I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money, my mom was a single parent who always did the best she could but typically worked minimum wage jobs to get by while raising three kids. She worked all hours and I pitched in a lot to help get my siblings ready each morning, get food in their bellies, to school etc. I want to go back to my roots in a way to perhaps appreciate the struggle my mother faced and also help raise awareness in Canada as to why we need to raise the rates. Too many people are living in poverty, often through no fault of their own, and can’t get out of it. I am excited to share some realities with friends, families and colleagues to help break the stigma of welfare and poverty so together we can fight for change.
Nelson Mandel said it best, “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
I am a Community Investment Specialist on the Branch Impact Strategy Team. The main focus of my work is working with our Branches to encourage relationship building within our local community and Vancity’s Community Project Grant program in which I have facilitated granting shared success dollars to Cooperatives, First Nations and Non Profits. I have also been involved with work on the Envirofund Local Food Project Grants.
In mid-late 2015 I began a new role where I spend half my time on Vancity’s Microfinance Team. Together we work with everyone from new immigrants to start up entrepreneurs to increase financial literacy and access to financing for those who would typically not be approved via conventional lending practices. Instead of looking at just credit history and net worth, we look at ambition, character and determination.
Outside of work I recently became a Board Member for Baobab Inclusive Empowerment Society. Being involved in community work is a passion of mine and I am proud to live the Vancity values.
Follow me @LindsayBissett on the Vancity Tweet Team!