The Hamilton Spectator

‘Hamilton Gives Awards’ now taking nomination­s

- MARGARET SHKIMBA MARGARET SHKIMBA IS A HAMILTON WRITER. FOR MORE VISIT: MARGARETSH­KIMBA.SUBSTACK.COM. YOU CAN FOLLOW HER ON X (@MENRVASOFI­A) AND “FRIEND” HER ON FACEBOOK.

There’s so much negativity and despair these days.

Huge problems confront us that cause us to fight among ourselves in the finding of solutions. No one is doing enough, yet everyone is running on empty.

It’s important to remember that there is good work happening in our community, and to recognize what “all hands on deck” means when we talk about solving the housing crisis, poverty, domestic violence, the opioid crisis or any of the other countless challenges to our people and community.

Congratula­tions to all the women who were honoured last week at the YWCA Women of Distinctio­n Awards.

Thank you for the good work you do for Hamilton and the people who live here.

It is both humbling and inspiring, and a reminder, as I write this on Internatio­nal Women’s Day, that women do indeed, hold up half the sky. Sometimes more.

Along similar lines, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce announced in February its inaugural “Hamilton Gives Awards,” establishe­d to recognize socially responsibl­e community leaders in the profit and not-for-profit sectors in Hamilton.

In partnershi­p with Breakwater Financial and the United Way Halton and Hamilton, the honours will be presented at a gala event on May 8, along with up to $50,000 raised for local organizati­ons.

We often get focused on the gaping holes in our society, and rightly so — they should be forefront in our minds. We turn to the government and demand solutions, and again, rightly so — it’s why we pay taxes.

But we can not forget the work that gets done behind the scenes by people who see a need and fill it. They bring their hands on deck. This is especially true for businesses that organize their employees to give back or provide incentives for them to volunteer in the community.

This work is done without fanfare or the need for recognitio­n, with their only reward being the feeling that they tried to do something to nurture someone or heal a broken environmen­t. That’s a powerful feeling, but fleeting in the constant onslaught of continued need coming from all directions. The appreciati­on of the community sustains their work.

Nomination­s for the Hamilton Gives Awards are open now and will close on March 22.

Individual­s, businesses and notfor-profits can be nominated in eight categories: Social Impact Lifetime Achievemen­t Award, Community Builder Award, two Community Impact Awards (one for not-for-profits and one for small to medium-sized businesses), Employee Engagement Award, Sustainabl­e Hamilton Award, Women Empowermen­t Award, and — last but certainly not least — a Youth Empowermen­t Award.

See the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce website for more info at hamiltonch­amber.ca.

There are people and organizati­ons all over Hamilton working tirelessly to make Hamilton a better place. It’s hard work and it’s very often thankless work in the way in which the rest of us take for granted — that someone else will pick up the slack and step in for the failures of government and society.

Right now, I’m thinking of all the volunteers who gather downtown to feed the hungry each Saturday or those who serve at De Mazenod Door at St. Pat’s Church, which feeds people daily through the lunch program.

These people, these programs, sustain life.

But there are hundreds of others working with creativity and dedicated passion on being the change that we need to see in order to weather the storms we’re currently in, and in anticipati­on of those appearing on the horizon.

Recognitio­n of these individual­s is both inspiratio­nal and aspiration­al to those who want to see a better world.

In a world that is increasing­ly cynical and self-serving, it reminds us of our common humanity. And the $50,000 to local organizati­ons during these truly demanding times is a welcome contributi­on.

Who will you nominate?

 ?? CATHIE COWARD THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR FILE PHOTO ?? There are people all over Hamilton working tirelessly to make the city a better place, like those with the lunch program at De Mazenod Door at St. Pat’s Church, Margaret Shkimba writes.
CATHIE COWARD THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR FILE PHOTO There are people all over Hamilton working tirelessly to make the city a better place, like those with the lunch program at De Mazenod Door at St. Pat’s Church, Margaret Shkimba writes.
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