September 2020 marks Canada’s fourth annual Community Foundations Month and at SurreyCares Community Foundation, we indeed hope to continue into the Fall and Winter with increased momentum brought forth by the diligent work of not-for-profits in our community throughout this time. In this interview, we ask our newest Board Director, Michael Chang, to share his authentic outlook on SurreyCares’ projects to which he outlines SurreyCares’ community-oriented philosophy.
For Michael, giving back to his community is a key mantra fortified and supported by his family and his undergraduate years. His upbringing has led him to his role as a Board Director at SurreyCares where he co-designed and manages the youth leadership program all while serving other organizations across the community. By working at Grant Thornton’s Advisory practice, with a focus on distressed and insolvent entities, his passion for business and education are modelled in his profession. He describes the value that SurreyCares has added to the past decade of growth in the City of Surrey in his following responses.
Why is SurreyCares your community foundation of choice?
I have been a resident in this City for over 20 years and have seen my own backyard literally transform from a rural area to an urban city. The growth of this City has brought forth new community needs which our non-profits have to service. This is where SurreyCares comes in the picture as the connector of all non-profits in our City, where ideas and collaboration intersect. This is what excites me about the future of this community foundation!
What about the work of SurreyCares Community Foundation has fulfilled you most as a Board member?
I am humbled to serve alongside a dedicated Board of community leaders who care tremendously about building a sustainable non-profit community through SurreyCares’ vision of a giving, connected community.
SurreyCares has seen many great accomplishments since my short time on the Board, especially during the Covid-19 environment. A few notable accomplishments that come to mind include the following: delivery of the Emergency Community Support Fund granting over $900,000 of government funding to various non profits in Surrey, Langley and White Rock, the launch of the Surrey Community Relief Fund where funds went to support four non profit organizations, and the launch of the non-profit and charities directory.
In what ways has your connection to Surrey grown as a Board member for SurreyCares?
I have been on the Board for four months now, and my connection to our City’s diverse group of community organizations has been the most fulfilling part to me as a Board member. I have enjoyed reading about the success stories of the non-profits in our City, and how our grants are able to support them in their mission.
I applaud all the non-profits in Surrey that provide crucial services to those who need it most in our community.
How do you hope Community Foundations Month will help SurreyCares’ vision of a giving, connected community?
My hope is that Community Foundations Month will create a sense of awareness about the interrelationship between community foundations and non-profits, such as, SurreyCares.
Is there anything else you would like our community to know about you or SurreyCares?
I would encourage our community to learn about the value that SurreyCares brings to the non-profits in our city in terms of our three pillars: community leadership, fund development and grant giving. Our website has some great information on this, and I know our Executive Director, Christine Buttkus would be happy to answer additional questions.
Learn more about our Board of Directors at https://www.surreycares.org/our-people-1.