“We believe every act of giving inspires another.” That's the tagline for Telus' corporate giving program, The Giving Effect. At the end of May, employees from TELUS, Chase Card Services and Sherwin Williams, along with a group from Hope Community Church, helped get The Salvation Army's Jackson's Point Camp ready for the summer.

The days began with garden and yard work. Teams painted buildings, planted flowers, cut grass and chopped firewood. After lunch, they swept, mopped, cleaned and repaired. More than 70 people from six different groups gave 500 hours of work to prepare our camps for the summer season.

“This isn't just yard work,” I told each group as I thanked them and prayed a blessing over their efforts. “It is life-changing work. Soon, this camp will be filled with the laughter and joy of more than 1,000 kids. Your efforts free us to concentrate on getting our program ready to go. Thank you for partnering with us in changing children's lives.”

Captain Jason Sabourin, corps officer at Hope Community Church in Ajax, Ont., led a team of seven men who worked at the camp for four days as a mission trip. “It was an opportunity for the men to grow as a team by doing meaningful work, which will benefit the children who go to camp from our community,” he said. Participants of the corporate give-back days agreed.

When a group of people bond together over a common goal, charitable giving has a unifying effect—and that effect is amplified when the work is meaningful or has a life-changing outcome. Volunteers shared how learning their work would benefit the children who attend our adventure camps transformed their efforts. The conversation shifted from us saying thank you to them thanking us.

This shift was about them becoming part of us, becoming part of something bigger than the individual or the team. Their work served the thousands of campers whose lives would be influenced by the ministry of camp. It is the Giving Effect.

Captain Rick Zelinsky is the executive director of Ontario Camping Ministries.

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