November 15th is National Philanthropy Day, an annual celebration of philanthropic actions and philanthropic deeds. Whether you celebrate by donating financially, giving in-kind, volunteering, or even by spreading awareness, we at SurreyCares recognize your efforts and thank you for your contributions. In this interview, we learn more about Chris Drinovz, a Director on our Board, and how SurreyCares promotes and inspires philanthropy.
After graduating on the Dean’s Honour List with a Bachelor of Science as a Mathematics Major, Chris went on to earn a Juris Doctor at the University of British Columbia Peter Allard School of Law. Through years of providing legal advice and services, he went on to be named the third-best lawyer in the criminal law category of the 2014 Georgia Strait Best of Vancouver Awards. Besides working in law, Chris treasures opportunities to support his community hence he has and continues to volunteer with different organizations.
Why is SurreyCares your community foundation of choice?
I’m an employment and labour lawyer and have been practicing law for about ten years. I grew up in South Surrey and I’ve lived and worked in the Lower Mainland for my entire life. I am currently the leader of an employment and labour practise group law firm called KSW Employment where we value empowering businesses, organizations and the community, so I wanted to go out and do that through SurreyCares as a continuation of the vision that I have at my workplace.
What has it been like championing philanthropy as a Board member for SurreyCares Community Foundation?
I have been on the Board now for just over a year and have found it very rewarding. It’s been very fulfilling to work with the other Board members who are very committed to philanthropy, who have taken me in with open arms and who have taught me the ropes very quickly. Over the past six months – with the onset of COVID-19 and all the changes that have happened – it’s been a pleasure to be part of SurreyCares, particularly seeing the extra granting be received by charities.
In what ways are causes you care about supported by SurreyCares?
I’m a big believer in being part of the community so I really appreciate the collaboration we do with other organizations. I appreciate the way we can make connections and educate other charities in terms of the granting we do and managing their own funds. The causes I care about are supported by the collaborative aspect of SurreyCares and the community outreach.
What has been the most inspiring part of your work with the SurreyCares’ Board to date?
Doing the granting has been the most inspiring. When we get the grant applications it’s been really cool to see all of the different organizations that are out there! There are so many that I hadn’t heard of and I’m now seeing all the great work that they are doing in the community. It’s a little challenging because we can’t help everybody but it’s inspiring that there are so many people out there giving their time and resources for the community and for people who need help. Just seeing all that is happening and the scale it’s happening in my neighbourhood and in our city and being able to support some of this through our granting process has been the most rewarding.
How do you hope National Philanthropy Day will help SurreyCares’ vision of a giving, connected community?
I think the more awareness we can bring to the needs of the community, the better. There is basically an unlimited need and we as an organization are committed to growing and doing what we need to do to service the need that is out there. With a day like National Philanthropy Day, we can bring awareness to organizations like ours and bring awareness to all of the people that need our help.
Is there anything else you would like our community to know about you or SurreyCares?
We’ve put a lot of work into connecting with the City and the City Council to get our message out there to the community. I do my best when talking with my clients or businesses so that when they are thinking about philanthropic gifts, they are aware of SurreyCares. I think it’s a matter of cross-promotion and letting all our networks know about SurreyCares – that is what’s going to help us grow and that is where community support can be of extra help!
Learn more about our Board of Directors at https://www.surreycares.org/our-people-1.