How I Got Involved by Sandy Campbell, Hopewell “Love your Life” Volunteer Committee Member

I have been a volunteer with Hopewell for over four years now as a committee member for the “Love Your Life” Valentine’s Gala. It has been a very rewarding experience to help plan and execute such a fun and worthwhile event.
I believe my involvement with Hopewell was all due to fate. I was having coffee with my former boss, committee chairperson Marion Grobb-Finkelstein when I mentioned to her that I was interested in getting involved with some volunteer work and giving back to the community. Her response was that she had the perfect opportunity for me with an organization called Hopewell.   Marion had just been having discussions with the Hopewell Executive Director, Christine Flammer about developing a new fundraising opportunity for the organization as it did not receive any government or ongoing funding of any kind. I asked her a few questions as I had never heard of this organization before. I immediately went on the Hopewell website to learn more about the organization and what services it provided to the community.  I knew straight away that it was the right fit for me.
I have not personally suffered from an eating disorder but as a young female I have been surrounded by friends and teammates from my sport involvement who have. I have witnessed a wide range from negative self body image talk to fully fledged eating disorders.  What I noticed most about these individuals is that they often suffered in silence and that there was a feeling of shame associated with what they were experiencing.  I had not heard of Hopewell at that time but I am certain that it could have helped these individuals address their difficulties and open the dialogue about eating disorders. The societal pressure to be a certain size and the unreal expectations of beauty are all around us but I have chosen a different message.
The majority of my involvement with Hopewell has been promoting the event to the media (t.v, radio, print, web) and to the general public (through social media). In conjunction with promoting this great event I have by default also been able to promote the organization itself and the essential services that it provides individuals and families who are suffering. It is an amazing feeling to know that for every year that we have this event more funds are being raised and more people are becoming aware of Hopewell and what it has to offer. I am so thankful for my volunteer experience and I feel that not only am I more educated but also that the number of people in Ottawa who are aware of eating disorders and Hopewell keeps increasing. Not a bad result for a quick coffee break conversation!
Thank you Hopewell!
                          Sandy Campbell  with  Gala Chair Marion Grobb Finkelstein 
               and Hopewell Executive Director Christine Flammer