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Doug Pawson’s passion is taking him all the way to Newfoundland


The Community Builders column on Apartment 613 shares the stories of every Community Builder recognized by United Way Ottawa.

In this column, you’ll see the stories of every day Ottawans who take the time to extend a helping hand, break down stereotypes and barriers, and those who push for a better city by showing us the true meaning of compassion for others. 

Do you know someone who deserves a Community Builder award? You can nominate them.

In every initiative Doug Pawson has been a part of in Ottawa Doug actively works to fight the root causes of poverty – with the goal of achieving a better future for everyone.

Doug’s volunteerism and work spans across the Causeway Work Centre, the Centre for Social Enterprise Development, the Alliance to End Homelessness, United Way Ottawa (including the Employment Accessibility Resource Network), and beyond.

Doug is also a co-founder of the Financial Literacy Action Network of Ottawa (FLANO), a group whose mission is to increase financial literacy for vulnerable groups in Ottawa. They led a campaign that influenced the City of Ottawa’s decision to limit the number of pay-day lenders permitted to operate in Ottawa.

Doug has been integral to numerous organizations in Ottawa fighting to make this city a great place for everyone.

When United Way Ottawa got the news that Doug would be leaving Ottawa to become End Homelessness St. John’s new Executive Director, we knew it would be important to recognize him for his achievements before he left. So we thought it would be fitting to:

  1. Surprise him at his own party, and
  2. Talk to people who worked with him about how great he is.

On Tuesday, February 19th a collection of community volunteers, non-profit leaders, and Ottawa change-makers gathered to see off one of their own. At this party, surrounded by people from Doug’s work and volunteer life, we surprised him with a Community Builder Award.

By Skye Walker
Officer, Community Relations and GenNext Outreach, United Way Ottawa




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