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Sandra Richardson: Philanthropy day celebrates spirit of giving

National Philanthropy Day celebrates the generosity of this community by recognizing individuals and groups making a true difference
Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson

It is this time of year we begin to think of our year-end giving. From Giving Tuesday, to deadlines for charitable donation tax receipts, to the many calls for support out in our community, giving is on most people’s minds this time of year.

It is also the time of year National Philanthropy Day celebrates the generosity of this community by recognizing individuals and groups making a true difference. The day itself fell on November 15, but we have been celebrating all month long.

The Victoria Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of National Philanthropy Day and this year we were especially thrilled to be the presenter of the Generosity of Spirit Award, which recognizes a family or an individual with a proven record of exceptional generosity.

The award was presented earlier this month to Carl and Sue Stovel. The Stovels have committed much of their lives to helping those challenged by mental illness, poverty, marginalization, and a lack of social supports in the community. They support many non-profit organizations in our community including Cool Aid, Threshold Housing, and Habitat for Humanity. They have also established a family endowment fund with the Victoria Foundation to support non-profits in this region for generations to come.

Carl and Sue are an inspiration to all of us and it has been our delight to help honour them.

There have been many other worthy individuals and groups honoured by the Giving Hearts Awards. The Victoria Admirals U13C2 hockey team was given the Outstanding Youth Group in Philanthropy Award for winning $100,000 for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. The Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award went to Taya Lee, founder of School Helpers Tutoring Organization, which delivers free tutoring across Canada. Mom’s Against Racism were declared the Oustanding Community Group for its efforts to educate moms and those in mothering roles in anti-racism, cultural competence, and decolonization.

Also part of the celebrations is the Coast Capital Power of Youth Giving Hearts Workshop. We were proud to be a part of this via the Andrew D. Beckerman Fund held here at the Foundation, which contributed a $50 CanadaHelps gift card to each youth who completed the workshop to donate to a charity of their choice.

The workshop itself included readings, videos, and activities to provide skills and understanding about philanthropy youth can apply within their community as they become the change-makers of tomorrow. Needless to say, its an inspiring workshop to witness.

Please learn more and find a full list of award winners at

Sandra Richardson is CEO of the Victoria Foundation.