Philanthropy Starts at Home

For Jess Gibbard giving to his community dates back to when he received his first allowance. At age 10, his parents instilled upon him the value of philanthropy by dividing his earnings into three categories: charity, savings and pocket money.

Now seven years later as a student at Esquimalt high school and part-time cashier at London Drugs, Jess has volunteered and donated to six different charities in Greater Victoria. The latest recipient of his generous spirit is United Way where he donates $2 a pay cheque.

“If we come together as a community, we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most,” says Jess. “I would like to think that if I were in their position, someone would do the same for me. I will always donate to charity – it’s a part of

who I am.”

Jess appreciates the work United Way does to build a strong and caring community. When he thinks about what community means to him, he recalls the close relationships he has established with his neighbours in View Royal and Vic West. Jess can often to be found helping a neighbour with moving furniture, carrying groceries or gardening.

His favourite place is the Gorge waterway, just outside of the inner harbour, where he spent most of 2012 training for the World Outrigger Sprints in Calgary as part of Team Canada. When Jess isn’t working or doing school work, he enjoys playing his guitar

or piano and writing music.

“It is not just young people who need to become more engaged in their community, we all need to get more involved,” says Jess. “Everyone can take time out of their day to help an event or charity or simply stay informed about the hardships facing our

neighbourhoods. Even if only a few people take initiative, others will be sure to follow.”