Today we bring you a special end-of-year message from Pier and the fundraising team as part of the annual winter campaign. We’re at a particular moment of the year when we often feel a need or desire to share some of our privileges, be it time or financial resources. This year, though, you might be feeling this need for at least the third time. To address the social and public health crises we are facing together, we’ve found that many turn toward the Roulant for inspiration, response, help and encouragement. Here are our reflections and plans, join us on our journey forward!
Thoughts on a Year to Remember
If the community sector lacks resources to find sustainable solutions to ongoing challenges, its strongest assets take form in both the passion of individuals dedicated to making an impact, and in organizations’ closeness to the populations they serve. These assets are particularly powerful when it comes to being quickly innovative, especially knowing that most of our institutions cannot be as versatile.
If we’ve increased our food security service almost overnight this spring, it’s so much because of our agricultural or kitchen production capacity, but because of our incredible ability to bounce back in the community. From volunteers, to donors, to staff.
Contracting out essential services to the nonprofit sector has many limitations. Those who are most vulnerable, marginalized and racialized are most at risk of experiencing social injustice. Confinement increases inequality, from living conditions to income or food access. The Roulant cannot simply fill food gaps. Our Meals-on-Wheels program has served vulnerable populations for 25 years, which gives us a responsibility to address this injustice.
To move forward together, we would like to discuss our commitment to Roulant members – of which you are a part – to take on a leadership role in social justice. This means taking the time and effort to view everything we do through this lens, and finding out how best to leverage our privilege to better serve the community. Our learning curve is significant, and this makes us vulnerable.
Progress in social justice requires important investments. It means no less than breaking down mechanisms that reinforce deep-rooted systemic inequalities, including those at the Roulant. Achieving this requires difficult conversations, hard work to educate ourselves, our partners and our funders, and to influence our governments. It goes without saying that we must also refine our programs, our internal policies and our systems to make them fairer.
Social justice has many impacts, ranging from decent wages for frontline workers all the way to rebuilding our philanthropy models. This year, for the first time, we worked with The Montreal Indigenous Community Network by donating frozen meals – a significant but modest first step forward.
The Roulant has been a social changemaker in Montreal for the past three decades, advocating for the engagement of youth and seniors, promoting local and organic agriculture, and preserving peri-urban farmland.
As an active member of the community, you are a key ingredient in the change we strive to see.
Thank you for being a part of the recipe.
***UPDATE Jan. 13: Thanks to the generosity of our amazing community for helping raise nearly $71,000! Read the results of the 2020 Winter Campaign here***