Kevin & Nancy, proud supporters
Having been born in other countries before immigrating to Canada, Nancy and Kevin’s experiences and observations of varying communities have shaped their lives and their philanthropy.
“I was born in West Virginia and then moved to New York state when I was only six years old,” said Nancy. “I saw everything from people living in the depths of poverty in West Virginia to then living in a community of people who included some of the wealthiest people on the planet. The contrast between poverty and wealth stayed with me and has impacted the way I think about everything, including philanthropy.”
Kevin was born in London, England and lived there until his family immigrated to North Vancouver in the late ‘50s and after a few years there, he moved to Lasqueti Island in 1971 where he met Nancy the following year. That’s when they began their lives together, commercial fishing, growing their own food and becoming part of a growing Island community for 25 years.
In the mid ‘90s, they moved to Victoria for a short time and then to Ottawa for a brief stint when Kevin was seconded to the Department of Transport. They returned to the Oceanside area in 2012 where Kevin now teaches and writes courses for the Western Maritime Institute. Nancy is never far away, with a cup of tea in one hand and knee deep in soil, tending to her vegetable garden. Like so many fellow travelers, they are happy to be back. Although there are so many things that have changed over the years.
For instance, they reminisce about how back in the 70s, nearly 80% of all produce eaten on the Island was grown on the Island. But with the massive land development over the years, now it’s down to less than 10%. For people who have lived off the land for generations, that option no longer exists. And with the rising cost of housing, groceries, and fuel, it’s become even more challenging for people to live comfortably. The contrast between poverty and wealth is all too familiar to Nancy and it appears to be widening.
So, when we asked Nancy and Kevin what influenced their commitment to community and their reasons for supporting SOS, Kevin explained:
“When we first settled here in the ‘70s, the one thing that really stood out to us was how the community looks out for the needs of everyone. People who are mentally, physically, or financially challenged all know they matter and can count on help from SOS. From the early days of the first SOS Thrift Shop where we loved to donate items and shop (we still do!), we’ve seen how SOS provides the kind of help that communities need in order to flourish. That’s important to us and that’s why we continue to support SOS.”
For nearly 55 years, SOS has strived to meet the needs of residents of District 69. We value the trust that contributors like Nancy and Kevin have in us, knowing we will continue to invest their donations in people – supporting their mental health, enhancing their quality of life, and improving their financial stability.
As we look ahead to what 2023 will hold, our message to the community is one of renewed hope. Hope that we will be kinder to one another. That we will discover new ways to make a difference. And that we will reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the social safety net for those in need now and in the future.
With grateful hearts,