Dear friends and partners,
It is with great emotion that I am finishing my work with Binners’ Project today.
From the beginning, five years ago, every day I’ve showed up to work to find inspiring people filled with dreams, hope and excitement. This project has shown me that with passion and dedication we create real impact. I often think of the beginning...I was naive, and things appeared simple. My only thought was: “we’ve got to do something to help these guys out.” With Ken Lyotier’s network and experience, One Earth’s support, and McConnell Family Foundation seed funding, the natural first step was to meet with binners and ask them what they wanted.
Five years forward, I feel like I’ve done my part. I’ve done everything I could to improve the binners’ livelihood, and raise awareness about their important role in cities. With the help from all of you, we fundraised over $1.5 million and created thousands of opportunities for binners to be financially independent, learn new skills, and equip themselves with the tools to build their own community from the bottom up. I never knew it was possible to create change that.
I’ve personally witnessed people change over the years. A lot of people. It is slow change, but steady. I’ve seen people’s faces looking healthier, and colour coming back to their face. Smiles getting bigger week after week. It became routine to have members coming to us and saying that Binners’ Project was changing their lives. For instance, they hadn’t worked for 20 years or so, and that having a weekly moment of connection and a couple of shifts a week had a ripple effect on their life, and their self-worth was coming back. Several members found the strength in themselves to reconnect with their families, often children or parents, that they hadn’t talked to in years. And they will tell you -- they wouldn’t have had the confidence to do that without Binners’ Project.
It’s been a real honour to work alongside binners, and I am forever grateful for the experiences that I’ve had working with all of you. Thank you for everything you’ve done to help get us where we are today.
I am feeling confident about leaving Binners’ Project in Landon’s hands. The team continues working on destigmatizing the work of binners, achieving zero-waste, and growing economic opportunities in this community. There is a lot of work still to be done, and I hope you’ll keep following along – I certainly will.
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