In the next couple of weeks, we will bring you the stories of the wonderful Scotiabank AIDS Walk supporters. We will let them explain why they are helping the cause with fundraising, donating or volunteering for the event. Read below the story of one of our Team Captains.
Joshua Gordon has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History from the University of Northern British Columbia. “I moved to Calgary in 2007, when the economy was going substantially stronger than it is now. Scotiabank is where I’ve always banked, I was familiar with a lot of the products, and I had good experiences with the employees. At the time I thought it would be a temporary job,” says Joshua, who, ten years later, is now a Branch Manager with Scotiabank and the bank’s Team Captain in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk Calgary.
Joshua’s first participation in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk was last year. He was hooked instantly and now wants to get as many of his colleagues involved as possible. “We need to do more with this, more people, more engagement, both among the employees, which are our biggest asset, and amongst our customers,’’ he says, adding that he is hoping that the Scotiabank AIDS Walk team will have around 20 participants this year. Joshua believes that the event directly aligns with Scotiabank’s philanthropic priorities, focusing on families and healthy communities. “Additionally, for me personally, one of my biggest non-core job responsibilities is that I’m directly involved with Scotiabank Pride, which is our LGTBQ organization, and there’s a lot of overlap between the work that your organization does and the needs of that community.”
Joshua has been volunteering for organizations in Alberta for years. One recent experience was as the co-chair of Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta, Brooks Chapter, where he helped building and refurbishing houses for over two years. “I really enjoyed it, because a lot of it was hands on. You know, Saturday morning picking up paint, rounding up the volunteers, doing the painting, doing whatever we could to help,” remembers Joshua. He also volunteered locally as the Food Bank Director. “Brooks was so severely impacted by the oil & gas downturn. In the beginning there was something the Food Bank had a lot of, usually spaghetti sauce. They had it in buckets. As it went along, you’d hear ‘Now, we’re running low on baby food.’ And then diapers became an unquenchable issue, because they are so expensive. And then female hygiene products became the next issue, and then it just became ‘We need more of everything,’” explains Joshua, who spent some intense months fundraising for his community.
The Scotiabank AIDS Walk Team Captain says he’ll utilize all of his fundraising skills again for the event taking place on September 17 at Eau Claire Plaza, and he trusts his colleagues will get creative and help the cause, too. “We are going to have donation boxes in the branch. Our employees are so resourceful at utilizing their friends, their families, their other colleagues and their clients for these causes. We are going to be taking everything that Scotiabank has raised and matching it up to $5,000 through the Scotia Team Community Program. That’s our goal for this year,” says Joshua, adding that it is important for people to understand the stories behind the AIDS Walk. He encourages everybody to check out our website and annual reports, because you realize it’s “all about the people. This is why HIV Community Link is in important organization for Calgary and Southeastern Alberta, this is the work that they do in Calgary, in Brooks and Medicine Hat, which are all part of the district I work in. It’s important for you to get involved. It’s a fun event, you can walk or you can run. If I can run 5 km, you can run 5 km. You’re not signing up to run a marathon. This is a fun day, a great opportunity to spend time with your colleagues, the community, raise money for a worthy cause, and last year there was pizza, who can turn down pizza?” Joshua says.
You too can register for the Scotiabank AIDS Walk Calgary at scotiabankaidswalk.ca/calgary. Join us today and make a difference!