Stepping Up

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
― Vincent Van Gogh


Sometimes having courage means being brave enough to try big, scary things- like buying property in another province or competing in an extreme sport. Other times, courage is demonstrated in smaller measures; sometimes having courage means asking for help. Early in the year, I was contacted by Gail Tomaselli, from the Alzheimer Society of Haldimand Norfolk; she had seen some of Nova Mutual’s recent #workingtogethermatters posts and was inquiring about our capacity to Uplift her incredible organization.

Coincidentally, a few weeks later my colleague Rhonda Reist, Broker Experience Director connected me with Traci Boland, a partner at Ontario West (OW) to see if we would be interested in sponsoring their office step challenge to raise funds for a local charity. Traci was looking for a creative way to get her office staff outside and moving, and partnered with the Charity Miles app to run a competition; each quarter the OW team coordinated with a business partner to sponsor a charity. If the team hit a specific distance goal, a donation would be made to a charity on the OW’s behalf by the corresponding quarterly partner.

Uplifting our communities and working with Broker Partners connecting to a cause that affects nearly ¾ million Canadians made this an easy yes for us, and due to Gail’s email shortly beforehand- It was determined that should this goal be met, then Nova Mutual’s donation would be made to the Alzheimer Society. “The Alzheimer Society believes that people affected by dementia have the right to enjoy the highest possible quality of life and quality of care. (They leverage their) own and community resources to deliver health promotion, advocacy and support services to people with dementia, those at greatest risk of developing dementia and their care partners.

This was no easy challenge, the Ontario West (OW)  team would have to log over 21,000 miles using the Charity Miles App to qualify the charity for the full donation from June 1 until the end of August 2021. For perspective, as the crow flies, from Hamilton, Ontario to London, England is only 3,500 miles and  Ontario to Tokyo, Japan is just shy of 6,000.  Being courageous themselves, several Nova representatives joined this challenge to help OW hit their goal. With only days to spare, we were notified that together we logged enough steps to complete the challenge.

OW and Nova further partnered with the Charity Miles app to track and consolidate all contributors’ activities. The (free!) Charity Miles app itself asks participants to select an individual charity and they donate $0.25 for each mile that you walk/run directly on your behalf. For example, if U logged 10,000 steps a day that’s about 5 miles or, just over a buck a day donation to the charity of your choosing, *plus* during the challenge this distance was added to the team total cumulative and helped the team reach the overall goal that meant a larger donation to the Alzheimer Society this month. Mark Williams, from the OW Bill Blaney Office in Simcoe credits this challenge as motivation to help him lose 80lbs (and counting!) Eric Harrop, one of  Nova’s Directors and the current Chair of the Investment Committee, logged the furthest distance, over 290 miles (this translated into a donation from the app itself of nearly $137 to the charity of his choice)

If U are looking for Alzheimer resources for yourself or a loved one, your Society can help and support U with programs, services, education and resources tailored to U. Click here.

If U wish to make a donation to the society directly click here.

The Charity Miles App, and more information about it for both individuals and businesses can be found here.



Written by blog contributor, Jessica Lymburner, Director of Strategic Partnerships