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Giving Tuesday 2015: What’s your reason to give?

Update: Thank you so much to everyone who took part in Giving Tuesday 2015 and helped raised $1,583! We are humbled and inspired by your generosity. Together, we will continue speaking out for the health of our lake!

Dec. 1 is Giving Tuesday – a global day to give back – and this year, we’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal: raise $2,000 in 24 hours.

We’re spending this week celebrating people who are helping make a healthy Lake Winnipeg possible by giving to LWF, adding a new story each day. We hope their passion for our great lake will inspire you to get involved, too.

Our online donation page is already live, if you’d like to start making a difference today.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!

Update: Exciting news! Tomorrow only, online donations made through CanadaHelps.org or GivingTuesday.ca using Interac will be matched up to $25 per donation! This campaign starts at 8 a.m. CT and is first come, first served up to $10,000 in matching dollars. If you’re looking to leverage the impact of your gift, make sure to get your donation in early tomorrow morning!

Meet Roger.

For almost two years, Roger has been giving his time to LWF as president of our volunteer board of directors. This summer, the amateur cyclist decided to give in a new way: enlisting two friends to join him on an ambitious, three-day fundraising road trip from Winnipeg to Ontario’s IISD Experimental Lakes Area, one of Canada’s primary sources of lake science.

“ELA research is critical to the ecological recovery of Lake Winnipeg,” he said in the days leading up to the journey. “We’re using some pedal power to connect the dots and raise awareness of these issues.”

The Cycling for Solutions riders traversed over 500 km across Manitoba, Minnesota and Ontario – and raised $3,795 for LWF! Our thanks go out to Roger, Brad and Pete – and the many people who supported them – for this truly amazing accomplishment.

“The planet’s freshwater resources are a shared resource amongst all peoples,” Roger says. “As such, the protection, management and responsible use of freshwater is everyone’s collective responsibility. I strongly identify with LWF’s mission to engage society on seeking science-based solutions to watershed management.”

What’s your reason to give?

Meet Pam and Rob. They got married this past August. (Congratulations!) And on their special day, they decided to do something special for us: In lieu of guest favours, they made a donation to LWF!

“Rob’s family has spent summers on the lake for three generations, and now our children are a fourth generation to enjoy one of the most beautiful places on earth,” Pam says.

“Lake Winnipeg is so important to us and many of our friends and family. We want to contribute in any way we can to help ensure that it stays healthy, and knew that most of the guests at our wedding would be happy to be a part of that. LWF is at the forefront of advocating for this cause – it just made sense to donate.”

Celebrating love and commitment with a commitment to the future of our great lake? What a great idea! Thank you, Pam and Rob, for supporting LWF in such a touching way.

What’s your reason to give?

Meet Gabby and Eddie.

Gabby and Eddie are both Grade 5 students at Strathmillan Elementary School. Last year, LWF was invited to speak to their Grade 4 class about Lake Winnipeg. The students had lots of great questions and were keen to learn more. Their lake education continued throughout the year and once they understood the issues, they decided to take action, collaborating on a series of watercolour paintings and organizing a fundraiser for LWF!

“Lake Winnipeg is one of our biggest and most beautiful lakes,” Gabby says. “We don’t want to lose it.”

It seems their enthusiasm was contagious: This year, the entire K to 5 school is getting involved! Strathmillan Elementary has chosen “water” as its educational theme and LWF as its local charity partner!

“I want to help Lake Winnipeg because algae blooms are eating it up,” Eddie says. “This is a bad thing because Lake Winnipeg is such a beautiful lake.”

“One of our goals is to help children understand that they can make a difference in our world. We want them to understand environmental impacts of our actions,” Strathmillan principal Sue Marlatt says.

“The Lake Winnipeg Foundation is an excellent resource for our school. Our thank you will be to fundraise to support the foundation so it can continue making a difference.”

We look forward to working alongside these young water champions – and future water leaders – as they educate themselves about our great lake and use what they learned to make a difference.

What’s your reason to give?

Meet Sheila. (She's the woman in the sunglasses, leading 75 people on this summer’s Walk for Water in Dunnottar). 

As the co-coordinator of this community event, Sheila volunteered a considerable amount of her time and energy. Thanks to her efforts, along with the rest of the amazing volunteer team and the many lake-lovers who participated, the 2015 Walk for Water in Dunnottar raised over $5,600 for LWF!

Sheila’s connection to Lake Winnipeg started when she was just a baby and her parents purchased their first cottage at Grand Beach. When Sheila was in her teens, her family moved to the west side of the lake, purchasing a cottage in Matlock. All these years later, it’s still her favourite place to spend quality time.

“We enjoy beach days, water sports, fishing, community events, and many beautiful moments sitting and soaking up the lake view,” she says.

“Our fondest memories are of times spent at the lake, and I want to ensure my children and future generations can experience a healthy lake and community life. I can have an impact by getting involved with promoting awareness and fundraising through the annual Walk for Water. I believe we can all make a difference by volunteering with LWF or lending our support through a charitable donation.”  

What’s your reason to give?

Meet Ella.

Ella is a longtime LWF supporter whose dedication to Lake Winnipeg spans an amazing nine decades! Ella’s family cottage at Victoria Beach was built in 1924 when she was just six months old and she has spent every single summer since then enjoying all that Lake Winnipeg to offer.

Ella (top centre) with her sisters at VB circa 1935.

Today, she gets to share her that lake love with multiple generations of her family – including 10 great-grandchildren.

Ella has supported LWF in many different ways over the years: as a volunteer, by donating in memory of friends and by organizing her own fundraising events – including two 800-metre open-water swims she completed in her late 80s!

“I strongly support the mission of LWF, and I urge all of us who live in the watershed to learn about the issues and get involved,” Ella says. “I am optimistic that we can work together to make a difference.”

What’s your reason to give?

Meet Michael – aka Dr. Rennie.

He’s a Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries, an assistant professor at Lakehead University, and a researcher who works with the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area.

Thanks to a grant from LWF, Dr. Rennie and his team have begun a new project on Lake Winnipeg that will investigate plastic pollution. Working with other scientists from the University of Manitoba, IISD-ELA and the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium, researchers will be testing water samples for potentially harmful microplastics (like the tiny beads found in some cosmetic products) in order to compare local levels with those of other freshwater lakes.

“Even though microplastics are being detected in the ocean and on the Great Lakes, we really have no idea of how big an issue they are in Lake Winnipeg,” Michael says. “The funding we received from the Lake Winnipeg Foundation will go a long way to helping us learn the answer.”

LWF’s grants program exists because of the generosity of our members and supporters. Since we began this program, we’ve awarded more than $235,000 in support of stewardship, research and education projects working to improve water quality in Lake Winnipeg and its watershed.

Thank you, Dr. Rennie, for devoting your career to science and the health of fresh water.

What’s your reason to give?

Meet Karen.

She’s been enjoying Lake Winnipeg since 1961 when her parents first purchased a cottage in Victoria Beach. (This picture, of Karen and her big sister, was taken around that time.)

“Lake Winnipeg has been the most significant place in my life. We have passed that love on to our children, as our parents and grandparents did to us,” she says.

Karen and her family continue to return to VB every summer from their home in Calgary and have become passionate supporters of LWF who give to the foundation in many different ways – including gifting LWF memberships to their loved ones every year at Christmas. What a great idea!

She and her sister have also donated a series of vintage fine-art prints created by their grandfather, Henry Eric Bergman, to be sold by LWF as a fundraiser. (Limited quantities of these beautiful prints are still available for purchase through our office or online.)

“Having witnessed first-hand the changes in lake health over 50-plus summers, and having worked as a consultant on sustainable agricultural practices, land use and the environment, LWF’s science-based approach to understanding, communicating and solving the threats to the lake really resonated,” Karen says.

“We live in Calgary near the Elbow River, the western edge of the Lake Winnipeg watershed. This connection, and the realization that what we all do within the watershed impacts lake health, affirmed our resolve to support LWF.”

What’s your reason to give?

Sunny days at the beach with friends and family. Kayaking through sparkling water as pelicans fly overhead. Ice-fishing trips and fresh-caught pickerel dinners. Unforgettable sunsets.

For generations, Lake Winnipeg has given us so much. On Dec. 1, let’s give something back.

A global day of giving

Occurring on the first Tuesday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday – immediately after the sales frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Giving Tuesday is a day to celebrate and support charities.

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 by New York’s 92nd St Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Since then, it has evolved into a global movement. To date, people of all ages and from all walks of life have supported more than 30,000 non-profit organizations in 68 countries – and raised more than $87 million!

Giving Tuesday and LWF

This year’s Giving Tuesday takes place on Dec. 1, and we’re encouraging lake-lovers like you to show your support for Lake Winnipeg by donating to LWF. When you do, you’ll be helping us work towards our vision of a clean, healthy lake – now and for future generations.

We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal: $2,000 in 24 hours. We’ve also created a special online donation page that makes giving even easier.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!

In the week leading up to Dec. 1, we’ll be showcasing people who are helping make a healthy Lake Winnipeg possible by giving to LWF. Each of them has chosen to give in a different way. Together, they share a passion for our great lake and a commitment to being part of a solution. We hope their stories will inspire you to get involved, too.

Lake Winnipeg defines our geography, drives our economy, shapes our cultures and supports our biodiversity. But it’s also in trouble. Harmful algae blooms are contaminating beaches, reducing water quality and threatening livelihoods. New challenges – such as the recent arrival zebra mussels – have added another layer of complexity to an already complicated situation.

Now more than ever, our great lake needs our help.

How you can get involved

This Giving Tuesday, join with others around the world and take action:

  • Donate to LWF on Dec. 1: We have 24 hours to raise $2,000. Click here to give.
  • Spread the word: Encourage your friends and family to join the #GivingTuesday movement.
  • Share online: Help us reach new supporters by sharing our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with your networks – and don’t forget to hashtag your posts with #GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayCa!

On Dec. 1, 2015, people around the world will come together in the spirit of generosity.

What’s your reason to give?

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