This space usually shares information about Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (CSGW), and during this Holiday Season, we want to take a different approach and talk about Giving.
Specifically, we want to acknowledge the gift of time invested by one volunteer in particular; Marlene Coughlin. Marlene has been on our Board of Directors for 15 years. We’d like to give her the opportunity to share her experience as a long-serving member and why she chose to give her time to CSGW.
My Experience with Crime Stoppers
My experience with Crime Stoppers started in December of 2005 shortly after I retired from 32 years of service with the provincial Correctional Services’ ministry.
I wanted to volunteer with an organization that I felt was somewhat connected to my life’s work. I certainly had heard of Crime Stoppers and felt it may be the “fit” I needed. I had worked through various positions and levels in Corrections and had ended my career in Staff Training – so training, doing presentations, working with people, was what I was looking for. I found out that volunteering with CS could offer me those opportunities, and more! I soon realized that the CS program is not fully understood in the community – i.e. it is not an arm of the police, and it is not funded by the government, that ALL money raised to pay for the ‘tips’ had to be raised through fundraising activities.
Once I checked out the stats for the program since its 1988 inception in Guelph and Wellington County and realized just how effective and successful the program had been, I truly wanted to be a part of this organization.
I have just concluded 15 years as a volunteer Board Member. During that time, I served on the Board with a variety of talented, and equally committed people. This Board’s appeal to me was, and still is, that it is a “working Board” – i.e. when there is a fundraising event, the expectation is that the Board members are actively involved! The annual ‘Mulch Sale” events involves physical work and is often coupled with Mother Nature’s questionable sense of humour, but the ‘reward’ has been seeing the appreciation of the respective communities and the strong loyalty of customers that has developed over the years. The same can be said with regards to the annual Shredding Events. I have to add that working these events has always provided lots of fun and laughs for the volunteers.
Other fundraising events such as Trivia Night, Shredding Events, 50/50 tickets sold at the Guelph Storm games, Darren’s Day (an annual event that honours a very community-minded man who was tragically killed), a charity golf tournament, presentations to schools and community organizations, are other examples where the CSGW program / Board engages with the communities in its area.
This local program has been honored with provincial, national, and international awards, over several years now. What wonderful recognition and gratification for each of us as volunteer Board Members, and a testament to the Executive(s) who have led the Board, along with the exemplary work of the CSGW Program Coordinator, and the Office Coordinator.
I have always been proud of this organization; its commitment to its purpose, its ethics and integrity in fulfilling its purpose, and its ever-evolving partnerships with the public, the media, and the police agencies. Here lies its success!!!
For anyone looking for a way to support and improve the safety of their community, volunteering with CS would be a good way to do that!
We could not say it any better! Marlene has now decided to retire from CSGW. In recognition of her outstanding dedication to CSGW, the Board of Directors presented Marlene with her 15-year pin, a token of appreciation and named her the first Honorary Lifetime Board Member. These gestures acknowledge and celebrate the contributions she has made. Thank you, Marlene!
If you are interested in joining a working Board and giving back to your community just like Marlene, please Contact Us at www.csgw.tips. You will also find information about all our activities and the role of the Board.
As always if you have information that can solve a crime, you can call us at 1-800-222-TIPS or provide a webtip at www.csgw.tips. You will never have to give your name or testify in court. If your information is used in an arrest, you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.