2020 Richmond Hill Honouree
Joanne Witt is the owner of snapd Richmond Hill, a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She volunteers with numerous organizations, planning events to help raise funds and awareness for each cause. CHATS – Community Home and Assistance to Seniors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of York, and Hill House Hospice are among the many she supports. Through snapd Richmond Hill, Joanne provides thousands of dollars of free exposure for charities and not-for-profits.
Joanne says that giving back is always the right thing to do. Growing up, she remembers her parents saying this and she never forgot it. There will always be people who fall on hard times and need a helping hand and, whenever possible, Joanne feels that each of us should do what we can. You never know when you’re going to be the one in need.
One of Joanne’s fondest memories from her childhood, which truly reflects the thoughtful nature she carries with her today, was when she learned of a family who had lost all their personal belongings and more in a terrible fire. They needed everything and hoped for any type of donation including food, clothing, furniture, and money to replace what they could to carry on. Joanne’s family didn’t have a lot to give, but that didn’t stop her. She thought of a few things of her own that she could sell to raise money and, on the very next Saturday, she set up a little table at the end of the driveway at home. To start, she filled it with cookies, lemonade, and her stuffed toys. Then friends, neighbours, and people she didn’t even know just driving by, stopped to buy some items. When Joanne explained what she was trying to accomplish with her little sale, passersby also gave cash donations! The first Saturday brought in $45. She loved the feeling of helping so much, she decided to do the same thing every Saturday for two months, each week finding more items to sell. In the end, way back then as a little girl, she raised $540 in those eight Saturdays. She delivered the money to the family with a big batch of freshly made cookies.
Giving is contagious according to Joanne. Her life has been so enriched because of it, especially through the wonderful people she’s met including those working alongside her giving and making a difference too, as well as those they’re supporting.
Knowing of the poverty and disparity in our local communities and abroad, Joanne believes that encouraging each other to help ought to be a no-brainer. Together, raising awareness about these pressing issues will create even more consciousness in our community, engaging others to get involved.