AUTHOR: Allison Bowsher

When it comes to making a positive difference in your community, there are many ways to enact change and give back. To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary, RBC launched the RBC 150 Challenge, giving young Canadians across Canada $150 to be used towards making their community a better place to live.

The results were nothing short of inspiring, with Canadian youth using the money to visit and entertain senior citizens, sponsor a youth soccer tournament, give away shoes to those in need, and more.

One Canadian who wanted to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in her city did just that. Growing up in St. Andrews, Winnipeg, Reese Precourt was fortunate enough to never experience homelessness firsthand. Still, she knew it was stark reality for many of her fellow Canadians. “Homelessness is a very direct cause…it’s seen very easily across Canada and the world and poverty is very common,” says Reese.

“I particularly come from a home that supported me very well and I’m so lucky to have been in that place and now I just want to be able to help as much as I can for people who haven’t experienced those sort of things.”

Reese used her $150 from RBC to purchase ingredients for a bake sale, with the funds she raised going to help support Lighthouse Mission and the people in her community who are part of the 35,000 Canadians that are homeless.

Getting involved in the community and volunteering your time can seem daunting at first, but Reese knows it doesn’t have to be. “It’s so easy to make a change in the community. People will see what I’ve done and think ‘Oh my god I have to do something that big to make a change or make and impact.’ But you really don’t. It’s so easy to go to a soup kitchen or a food drive and help out at your local community centre,” says Reese.

Being part of the RBC 150 Challenge represented a big step towards Reese achieving her goal to help eradicate homelessness in Canada, but she points out that any act of kindness or goodwill goes a long way. “Anything you can do, because those little things do help, even though people don’t think they do.”