Erica, welcome to the Shelter Movers team! Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in London, Ontario with my parents, older sister, 2 cats, a dog and a horse. I also lived in Lennoxville, Québec, and Toronto, Ontario before moving to Halifax.
I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology followed by a postgraduate degree in Fundraising Management. While I was living in Toronto I volunteered with the Elizabeth Fry Society and I gained experience in event planning, grant writing, tribute giving, crowdfunding, corporate partnerships, and sponsorship.
Most recently, I worked at a children’s hospital foundation, raising funds to purchase life saving equipment and fund value-added programs and services that support not only the patient but their family, as well. With Shelter Movers, I’m looking forward to continuing to provide support to families in my community, just now the families I will be supporting are those who are fleeing abuse.
While I myself am relatively new to Nova Scotia, my partner grew up in the same house in Windsor throughout his entire childhood. As a kid he was involved in sports teams and the 4H Club and he still coaches the Avon View High School rugby team.
How did you hear about Shelter Movers and what inspired you to apply for the Chapter Director position in Nova Scotia?
A friend of mine volunteered for the organization in Toronto before moving to Nova Scotia and continuing his involvement with Shelter Movers here. He connected me with Marc [Executive Director of Shelter Movers] because he thought my fund development background would be an asset. The work done by Shelter Movers really excited me and I wanted to be able to use my skill-set to contribute to their mission.
What is your vision for the future of Shelter Movers Nova Scotia?
I’m joining Shelter Movers Nova Scotia at an exciting time as the chapter will be expanding its services in the Annapolis Valley in a few months. The local and national teams have been very helpful in getting me acquainted with the organization but my first step as Chapter Director is to make connections and learn more about how I can support the communities in which we’re serving.
I’m looking forward to continuing to develop relationships in the Halifax Regional Municipality and the South Shore, as well as build new relationships in the Annapolis Valley. There is a lot of need in Nova Scotia so the chapter needs to continue to adapt and look for ways to support clients. With a lot of planning and growth, I hope that one day we will be able to reach all rural areas of the province, that way survivors can move between communities if needed, thereby expanding options for their housing search.
What are you looking forward to doing in Nova Scotia?
I always say living in Halifax is the perfect combination of city life and the outdoors. There is always something fun to do in the city whether it’s trying new restaurants or going to the market, then you can drive 20 minutes and feel like you’re hours from the city at a beach or on a hike. It really is the best of both worlds, in my opinion.
Moving here in the middle of a pandemic was a big change coming from Ontario because there was a lot more freedom and fewer restrictions. I was nervous when I first moved because I heard that Nova Scotians were expressing their negative emotions on people from out of province during the first wave of the pandemic. These nerves quickly went away as I was welcomed by extremely friendly neighbours, colleagues and peers!
I look forward to when our community is able to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and get the numbers under control so I can explore more of the province. I’m excited to visit wineries, camp in Cape Breton, bop into local shops, and try more fresh seafood!