NDWCC 2018: your involvement matters

RAdm Craig Baines prepares to take a pie to the face courtesy of CPO1 Coates, CPO1 Hudson, CPO1 Doucet and CPO1 Steeves at the 2017 MARLANT/JTFA NDWCC kickoff.

NDWCC 2018: your involvement matters

By Capt(N) D.E. Mazur,
CFB Halifax Base Commander

On October 1, the day this issue of the Trident is published, many of our Defence Team personnel will be gathered at the Stadacona Fitness, Sports and Recreation Centre for MARLANT’s official 2018 National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign (NDWCC) kick-off event.

As MARLANT’s newest NDWCC Campaign Champion and someone who, admittedly, hasn’t lived on the East Coast in many years, I look forward to events such as this kick-off. Why? Because they allow our members to come together as a team, have some fun and – most importantly – engage with local and national charities that positively impact our members, our neighbours and our communities in this region and across the country every day.

In line with Strong, Secure, Engaged, this year’s NDWCC campaign theme The Defence Team stands Shoulder-to-Shoulder for Canadian charities: everyone wins! – pushes us to be strong and unified here at home for the benefit of all Canadians, including our members. Part of this unified effort is to be engaged in the campaign in meaningful ways.

Meaningful engagement, of course, differs from one person to the next. CFB Halifax supports a workforce of over 10,000 military and civilian personnel who are all in various stages of their careers, constantly juggling the unique demands of their professional and personal lives. Whether you’re a young sailor or senior officer, a single parent, married with children, or experiencing the challenges of a deployment, major life event or otherwise, there are many ways to engage in the NDWCC that can work within the unique framework of your life.

Giving of your time (planning or attending NDWCC events), your money (contributing through payroll deductions and fundraisers), your skills (volunteering) – these methods of engagement all matter. Take some time, do your research and find out what works for you. In doing so, it’s important to ask yourself: Why do I give? For me, there is a clear answer to this question, as my family has been personally touched by cancer. My mother passed away from breast cancer, so I have a strong motivation to support organizations that are making positive strides in cancer research and those that provide support to individuals and families impacted by this disease.

If you don’t have this natural connection to a specific charity as I do, why not consider donating to organizations that support our Defence Team members and their families directly? Our Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre, Support our Troops and the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund are all great options. You can also donate more broadly to the United Way or HealthPartners and they will determine which charities can benefit most from your contributions.

Just remember: Whether or not you think you need help now, you or someone you know does, or will at some point, rely on the programming, research, skills and expertise offered by charitable organizations in our region and across the country. When canvassers visit your units in the coming months, take some time to listen and ask questions. Educate yourself. Find a way, big or small, to become involved. Every bit counts.

The more we can stand shoulder-to-shoulder to support our communities, the stronger they will become. The stronger our communities become, the stronger our Defence Team members will be. And a strong Defence Team, at home and abroad, is good for everyone.