“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is power to do it.”
Many of us would say we know of a few people in our lives that apply this mantra to their way of living. These are individuals that have seen the need for more helping hands and kindness, and decided to take on those roles themselves, offering their time and energy to create a more prosperous world, be it on a large or small scale. People like these are few and far between, so I find it crucial to highlight such benevolent characters when we do witness them working in our own local communities, to serve as a reminder that doing good in the world, is just as important as doing well.
One of our local philanthropists fits the description above quite well. A long time Hamilton resident, Debbie Mattina has worked on helping her community through a variety of work that focuses on aiding individual excellence and community betterment. She has actively given back for years, both through volunteering and philanthropy, and was the recipient of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Ray Johnson Memorial Award, and The James M. Barr CUMIS Award, all of which recognize and award individuals that have significantly contributed to society through community or volunteer service, as well as investing both human and financial resources into their community.
Through the non-profit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters, Debbie and her family had a “little brother”, and she recently donated generously to help put a young man through post-secondary school, a relationship fostered by United Way’s connections to community. These are only a few of Debbie’s actions that have stood out, but it helps illustrate her contributions and what good they do.
In a similar fashion, Debbie was looking for a new way to give back, and her most recent venture is definitely one for the books! She decided to go out and donate her grocery store points to a local family in need; the family was connected to United Way through a supported agency and Debbie was provided with a wish list of items for her to follow. In typical Debbie Mattina fashion, she had gone above and beyond the list of items to provide for this family, all of which were collected and distributed to the family on Friday July 7th, 2017.
United Way prides itself on the power of the community, however it’s also passionate individuals like Debbie Mattina that influence change and take the strides necessary for a community to prosper, on a collective and individualistic level. By looking at Debbie’s efforts, we are able to see the many different ways in which we ourselves can work alongside others to help foster positive development wherever and whenever it is needed.