5 Questions With: Marianne Long
Spring is around the corner and that means so is our signature fundraising event, A Taste for Hope. The 5th Annual A Taste for Hope takes place on March 22, 2017 from 6-9 p.m. at the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park. This month we sat down with Marianne Long, Special Events and Grants Coordinator and the lead on this event, for our 5 Questions With segment.
Q: What made you want to join the Shepherds’ team?
A: Last year, I was lucky enough to join a tour of shelter building and soup kitchen and had the opportunity to see the difference that Shepherds of Good Hope makes each day in the lives of community members in need. I met caring and compassionate front line workers, and volunteers who serve meals to those who are hungry. Behind the scenes at Shepherds is a passionate group of people who are committed to supporting Ottawa’s homeless and impoverished. Quite simply, I wanted to be a part of it all. With my passion for non-profit marketing and event planning, I was excited to find a way to contribute to this great organization.
Q: What does your role involve? What is the best part of your job?
A: As Special Events and Grant Coordinator for Shepherds of Good Hope, it often feels like I have the best of both worlds. On one hand I am responsible for planning our own fundraising and special events, and for supporting caring individuals and groups that want to want to hold their own fundraisers for us. I am also responsible for researching and writing grants for government and foundations which can help us extend our ability to support Ottawa’s most vulnerable men and women. What I love most is that every day brings new opportunities for me to make our events unique and memorable, and hopefully capture the interest of potential funders through a compelling grant application. It’s such a rewarding feeling.
Q: Can you tell us about some of the exciting things coming up this year at SGH?
A: I am very excited about the year ahead for Shepherds of Good Hope. On March 22nd at the Horticulture Building, we will celebrate our 5th year of A Taste for Hope, which is our signature event of the year. We will bring together some of Ottawa’s finest chefs for an unforgettable evening of incredible dishes, magnificent wines, beers and spirits as well as a pretty fantastic live and silent auction. In May, some of our staff and volunteers will be participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge as part of Ottawa’s Race Weekend – myself included! I’ve started training for the 10K race and am excited to participate with my colleagues. With the July’s warm weather comes the Hope Volleyball Summerfest. It’s such a pleasure to be involved with H.O.P.E. as one of this year’s recipient charities. I’m also looking forward to hearing about and supporting third party events in the community. Our neighbours have so many great event ideas and can make a real difference for Shepherds of Good Hope.
Q: What are some of the exciting things made possible by the grants you’re involved with?
A: Grants are an important way for charities like Shepherds of Good Hope to expand their capacity and services they provide. With the support of government and foundation grants, we can even more for Ottawa’s most vulnerable men and women. They provide an additional funding resource to support projects that we might not otherwise be able to fund at that particular time, such as a renovation to make a shower accessible for our clients with mobility issues, or provide funding for a Peer Worker program to provide additional services for those in need, for example. We truly consider our grant funders as our community partners in helping creating community through acceptance, compassion, and care.
Q: What kind of things do you like to do outside of work, in your free time?
A: Outside of work, I’m often surrounded by kids and I adore it. A few years ago, my teen daughter joined an Ottawa Scouts group and at the time, I joined as an Advisor as well. Our group is very community-minded, so you can often find us volunteering at local community events like Canada Day, Winterlude, CHEO Teddy Bear Picnic and The Ride. Together, we’ve enjoyed some great camping activities in the Adirondacks and have even climbed a mountain peak or two. My son was envious of the fun we were having and so he and I joined his local Scout troop as well – which brought another great group of kids in my life. Outside of our Scouting life, we’re keeping busy as a family with activities like geocaching, hiking and board games.