Message from Steve Georgopoulos and the External Affairs Team
Updated: Dec 18, 2021
On October 24th 2020, eleven people came together amidst a pandemic with the goal to make a change in the community. Within just three hours, our name, our goal and plan fell into place. Since then, FocalOttawa has faced many challenges, grown and innovated, but throughout it all, our ever-expanding team has remained dedicated to creating change. Above all, we have remained true to the goal inspired on that October day: to support the local economy and a local charity.
In our introduction to you all, we seek to answer three questions about FocalOttawa: how do we do it, why do we do it, and why do we believe in its success?
How we do it: FocalOttawa provides a means for local businesses to reach a new audience of potential customers. Through our website, social media, and seasonal projects (https://bit.ly/KwadwoKyeremanteng), we seek to increase our community’s awareness of the various talented businesses they can buy from. Through these means, customers are able to explore new ways to easily shop small, and do good by helping a local charity in the process. FocalOttawa was born of and around the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect of this extends to our choice of charity. Bridges Over Barriers is a fund under the Education Foundation of Ottawa. It provides financial support to our Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) students in need in a timely and dignified way. Through these efforts, FocalOttawa is proud to have contributed positively to the local economy, and donated a total of $22,101 to Bridges Over Barriers to date!
Why we do it: One of FocalOttawa’s ultimate goals is to change the buying habits of the local community. The pandemic has exacerbated the need for local businesses to create, maintain, and operate on a digital platform; FocalOttawa provides a way for them to stay ahead of the curve and continue their operations. We firmly believe that supporting small businesses is an integral part of our economic well being, our creativity, and our community. Motivated by the intent to help the local economy and a local charity, FocalOttawa encourages members to continuously seek practical experience through fostering an environment of growth and development. We are a team of passionate individuals who want to see this change happen, and are grateful to have the means to see it through.
Why we believe in FocalOttawa’s success: Much like many of you, the FocalOttawa team has a deep desire to do good in the community. But, what makes the initiative so successful is the unity it creates. We are proud that this organization is a manifestation of intergenerational innovation. It began with nine high schoolers, a Xennial, and a Baby Boomer, and has only grown since. As an initiative, FocalOttawa embodies the benefits of incorporating intergenerational collaboration into organizational practices. These relationships encourage us to appreciate all that can be learned from people with different perspectives. This is a key reason why FocalOttawa has been successful in our objectives to support the local community on a number of fronts. Learning to bridge communication disparities and encourage new dynamics between people from different generations reduces generational stereotypes, creates learning opportunities, and inspires diversity within our team. Our success is in no small part due to the support of our community, our local business partners, Bridges Over Barriers, and the Kiwanis Family that all of our members come from. We are immensely grateful for everyone’s contribution and look forward to sharing our upcoming projects with you all.
We thank you all for your contribution by reading this and sharing FocalOttawa with others. Your perspective is welcome, so feel free to leave any comments or questions below.