Sunday, 10 April 2016

The end of a term...

It is with extreme gratitude that I write this to you, our Median volunteers, friends & family. Yesterday we had Median’s Annual General Meeting. In it we discussed our past year’s activity and I made my very big announcement. Yesterday, I formally stepped down from my position as Median Fundraising’s President and from my role as a board member.

Although Median had just celebrated 3 years in February that was simply just our incorporation anniversary. Median was started before then, so in fact we are in our 6th year of operations. And I can truly say that I spent all of my energy and being ensuring that Median continued to run forward. My term has run out - my resources have been depleted and my strength to forge Median forward has been used up. It was a very difficult and sad decision for me to make but definitely one that was necessary for myself and of course for Median.

While I am not on the board of directors, I still exercise the privilege in my humanity to continue to volunteer for greater social good. We still have our Live Music Fundraiser for Beauty Night this Friday and I would love to see you there.


Maria Margarita P. Bernardo

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Saturday Morning

This morning I was supposed to have Median Fundraising's Annual General Meeting but due to scheduling conflicts it had to be rescheduled. I have been feeling sad, torn and exhausted with Median. I felt like I was losing my passion.
Instead of the meeting, I dragged myself to a cafe to sit and read everything I could to figure out how to make Median better. In the process of reading I became more and more stressed out with the thought that if I wanted Median to be better it felt like I would be doing all the work - and there is so much of it. I started to question why, why does Median exist? Are we able to fulfill our mission? We want to provide support to struggling local charities and causes but here I was struggling on my own. 
After reading for a solid two hours I decided to take a break and walk down the street. As I walked down Granville I met Inda standing outside a Starbucks asking for change. It was too beautiful of a day to say no but I had no change so instead bought him a cake and a hot chocolate. I said goodbye to Inda (yes I took his photo and he was eager); upon walking out the door the Starbucks barista stopped to thank me and continue to 'pay it forward' with a giftcard.
It was at this moment, that I realized I will always have a natural passion for wanting to help other people whether through Median or my own personal life. And it felt really good to help Inda - not because of the giftcard but because the thought that sharing this story might inspire others to 'pay it forward'.
Median exists to support local community organizations/causes with issues related to  health and socio-economic challenges. And it was through the inception of Median that I wanted to inspire the community to create change. With my momentary exchange this morning I feel reinvigorated to find a way to make sustainable changes for Median - and myself.

In sincerity,

Do you wish to create social impact? Do you want to know more about Median? 

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A day for love

On this day we are reminded to celebrate love. I think the Hallmark & Hershey companies of this world have over taken the media and somehow branded this day to be related to buying gifts of chocolate (..etc) for loved ones but to me Valentines day, while it is like any other day, is just an internationally day to recognize those we love in our lives.

So today, I am choosing to recognize the love I have for the people and charities in our community. Median Fundraising was created as a means of providing help to charities/organizations that lacked funding. There are some amazing people doing wonderful things for our community. While I could talk about my love for our volunteers and their desire to organize/plan events to inspire community engagement I am choosing today to talk about Beauty Night Society.

Last night I met with the lovely Caroline MacGillivray, founder of Beauty Night Society. Beauty Night has been a pillar of strength and support in the Downtown Eastside Vancouver Community for 15 years. They've now expanded their programs of wellness throughout the urban centres of the Lower Mainland.

I was just completed blown away by their accomplishments. But what I love about this organization is their mission and their volunteers' ability to see every person as equal within our very polarized society to provide building blocks of self esteem to those who need it most but are often denied it as they are in poverty.

This April 15th we are hosting our annual Live Music Fundraiser for Beauty Night Society and all the wonderful and amazing work they do! Please email us and we'll keep you updated on event details.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Happy 2016!

I can't believe how fast the time has gone. We're almost at our 3rd year and are exponentially growing!!  I'm so amazing and full of gratitude for how far Median Fundraising has come with the help of our board members and of course our volunteers. I can never express how grateful I am for these people!

With growth comes growing pains. We have outgrown our resources so now is a time to reassess, re-plan/formulate and start our discussion! We are also looking for more volunteers in our search to create a "circle" of growth in our community.

If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to contribute to our community, gain experience and network please send us a message

See our volunteer posting on Charity Village



Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Charity Craft Fair 2015!

I'm so thrilled to announce that through our Charity Craft Fair this past November 21st we were able to raise $1153 for Pancreatic Cancer Canada.

It's such an amazing gift to give someone, a gift of hope, inspiration and love. Gifts nowadays have become a social expectation and people have forgotten that the true meaning of a gift is the value you place in it (not monetary). I, again, am so grateful for everyone involved, those who have given up countless amount of time to provide their skills, those who financially contributed to support our event, and our community for being part of our event and supporting our local businesses and causes.

This Saturday, I will be meeting with Laurie, the Co-Director at Pancreatic Cancer Canada to present her with our cheque and to learn more about pancreatic cancer with the BC Cancer Agency and the Pancreas Centre BC.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

So much gratitude and sense of community from one event.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

You would think that after an insanely packed day and even more crazy week/month that I would be passed out like a log at this time ...nope. The adrenaline of the Charity Craft Fair is still pumping through my blood - or that might have been the cups of coffee I consumed.

When I think of the Charity Craft Fair, I imagine the cliché image of a world with people holding hands together forming a circle. Life is a cycle and in it we have the opportunity to impact everyone we come across.
  • The amazing organizations involved this year (listed below) do so much amazing work for the greater good of our community.
  • The small business vendors (listed below) that participated at this year’s event, and some annual supporters, were essential to our ability to provide these charities with a venue to share their cause and assist with funding their projects.
  • The sponsors (listed below) who provided so much to ensure that the event not only happened but provided a greater sense of community through their contribution.
  • The shoppers who came by, not only supported small business and the charity causes but conveyed a message to their loved one that their present was of value not just to the receiver, but also to those they purchased the gift from.  
  • And most of all the amazing volunteers, my friends, who have continually given so much of their lives to this event. I don’t know that I could write a conclusive paragraph on how much profound gratitude I have for these people for supporting my mission to raise awareness and funds for Pancreatic Cancer Canada through this event.

And just like the image of this cliché world with people holding hands together in a circle, every person/ group involved was vital to ensure that this cycle of creating a nurturing community continues to go around. It is this thought manifested into an event that leaves my adrenaline charged with so much gratitude and hope for our world.

People left feeling great about their purchase for it’s uniqueness, excited to give it to their loved one, and exuded the warmth they felt for contributing to such amazing causes. It’s a whirlwind to organize but once the day ends, all rentals are picked up and I get to sit back on my couch I end off the night feeling so much genuine love for everyone involved.

Details on the event report, photos and proceeds for Pancreatic Cancer Canada to come in the following weeks.

Until next year, xo,

Charity Craft Fair Sponsors:
  • Venue Sponsor: Westbank (Vancouver)
  • Event Sponsor: AMES Tiles (Burnaby)
  • Beverage Sponsor: BC Eye Care (Maple Ridge)
  • Door Prized Gift Basket Contributors:
    • Cartems
    • Nuba
    • JJ Bean Gastown
    • Scarves by Vanessa
    • Grazyna Wolski "Brilliant Blossoms" 2016 Calendar

Our wonderful small businesses:
  • Ashley Caitlin Crafts (annual vendor)
  • East Vanity (annual vendor)
  • The Intersection
  • Frese’n’ Grape
  • Color by Amber
  • TessaManu Photography
  • reMzo Apparel
  • Big Village
  • Amy Tom Art Design
  • Georgina Baker Design
  • Bespoke Cakes
  • Scarves by Vaness & Cards by Courtney
  • DnA Workshop
  • Arbonne
  • Great Spirit Designs

The amazing charities & non-profits in our community:
  • African Aids Angels
  • Shanti Uganda
  • Maya Skills Project
  • Tradeworks
  • 411 Seniors Society
  • Paws for Hope
  • Bead for Life
  • Passion Foundation
  • Downtown Eastside Neighborhood House
  • Eastside Community Artists

Friday, 13 November 2015

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. While we seem to have acquired a national celebratory day for almost every day of the year, this one is quite close to my heart.

Social media and our alarmingly small world of a network seems to bombard us daily with what each day is supposed to celebrate. Between National Donut Day to months dedicated to a cause, it's hard for every day people to actually grasp what it is that's happening. To be honest, living in a common wealth leads to social saturation. We are inundated with who and what to support, what to wear and what event to attend. It's quite overwhelming if all you know is life here ... but it becomes different when you know someone, especially a loved one, that has been affected by a deadly disease. Until then it seems that every cause is asking for your support and you have no personal tie to anything. And if that is the case for your situation then you are truly fortunate.

Most of us have lost someone important or know that someone we love is fighting for their lives. It really is a first world problem, and something that I celebrate having, to be rallying support or promoting a cause that doesn't affect us immediately.

Today, I wear purple to show my support for Pancreatic Cancer Canada in raising awareness for pancreatic cancer. When two, three, hundreds of people are wearing something in united stand to raise awareness for a disease that has taken a loved one it is a powerful message. Not everyone knows of this disease. Up until the last four years I didn't know what it was until my eight year old cousin Noel lost his fight to this disease. Soon after Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze and Jack Poole - the man who helped bring the Olympics to Vancouver. So just wearing purple for me is not enough.

Next Saturday November 21st we have organized the Charity Craft Fair to help raise awareness pancreatic cancer and support research. Please come and invite your friends to do some holiday shopping. We will have Ornaments of Hope available and admission proceeds will be donated to Pancreatic Cancer Canada's research at the BC Pancreatic Centre.

It's a life long mission of mine to spread awareness and support research for pancreatic cancer. It's the only way I feel I can carry on Noel's legacy.