By Stu Lynam | Photo Scott Cooper
Founding a charity focused community group is a daunting task, but as Mary Anne Frith and Barbara White have demonstrated, even a small “ripple” can yield extraordinary results.
We’ve all done it…probably thousands of times. Thrown a pebble onto the still waters of a lake or river and watched as the tiny waves extend beyond the point of impact.
The inspiration for Ripple of Kindness, a community give-back group, supporting charities in the Greater Simcoe Region, didn’t come while the founders were tossing rocks. Yet the impact of their efforts in building this unique and beneficial organization has been the same.
The notion of assembling a group of motivated women committed to change occurred to the pair, who had been friends for several years, when they attended a Gilda’s Club Simcoe-Muskoka fundraiser. As board chair of Gilda’s, Barbara had invited Mary Anne to the event, and the two discussed the charity’s lack of government funding.
“This started a conversation about other charities in the area who are in the same situation, and that was how the idea came to fruition”, say the co-founders. Mary Anne and Barbara were already heavily involved in many local causes, so it was a natural step to reach out to their respective networks about establishing ongoing community support on a larger scale. After a little research, the pair adapted their concept to meet the needs of busy women who were looking to be part of something impactful while only requiring a minimal time commitment.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” -Aesop
“Ripple of Kindness is meaningful giving on a local level, and at the same time provides a way for our membership to engage in charities they may not have otherwise known about.”
Since 2016 the enterprising pair have definitely made a splash. Ripple has grown to over 200 members, resulting in contributions of over $140,000 to Hospice Simcoe, Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, Season Centre For Grieving Children and the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie as of 2018. Contributions are presented to charities at social events attended by members, and have been hosted at locales such as Drors, Georgian BMW, Bear Creek Golf course and Bradford Greenhouses. “We meet four times a year at various locations; every event is dedicated to donation and spreading kindness in the community.”
“Women are welcome to join at anytime. We encourage any ladies who are interested to get in touch!”
The ripple is spreading. rippleofkindness.ca