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Showing local love for volunteers like Brenda Richardson


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.

Some of the greatest volunteers in Ottawa don’t know how appreciated they are, and that’s why we love to surprise them.

On December 5th Brenda Richardson was ushered on stage by local radio host and United Way recognition team member Gord St. Denis at the Centre for Social Enterprise Development’s (CSED) Unleashed conference. Brenda had helped organize the conference, so the itinerary change was unexpected.

When Brenda arrived at the front of the room, she was met with thunderous applause – nearly every person in the room seemed to know her. No easy feat, as the event drew more than 100 people to Bayview Yards to network, collaborate, and strategize about all things related to social enterprises here in Ottawa.

It was then that Gord surprised Brenda with a United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award for her many years of volunteering.

“Brenda has demonstrated a commitment to local love in this city that has not gone unnoticed,” he said to the crowd.

Brenda has spent a decade making a positive change in the Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association (KBCA). She served as a volunteer director of the KBCA and dedicated her energy to taking the organization in new directions.

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




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