Mamta Lulla

Compete to Contribute Challenge, an initiative that engages and empowers the youth, is currently ongoing in the Tri-Region and local participating organizations have their eyes peeled.

The idea started by one board member, Darren Hinkel, and other board members and directors Tegan Wendel, Brenda Hehr, Ian and Chantel Kondics, Adam Jansen, Sheldon Davis, Laverne Pankratz and Josh Myshak joined in.

Hinkel’s idea was to bring together local non-profit organizations that are often in search of funding and hosting fundraisers. He proposed they compete against each other by having the youth go out and provide acts of kindness within the community.

“We are challenging 15 incorporated, non-profit, minor associations in the Tri – region to implement creative acts of service that will positively impact their community,” states the competetocontribute.com website.

The cash prize is raised by the community and business sponsorship and 100 per cent of the money goes directly to the organization. For a full list of sponsors or to sponsor the contest visit competetocontribute.com.

The challenge started last year with $10,000 as first prize and $17,500 total given back to the associations.

The Compete to Contribute platform helps non-profit organizations alleviate the stress of fundraising and focus on what they do best – give back to the community.

It also helps youth take ownership of their homes and their community from picking up trash to painting fences.

A total of eight organizations are taking part in the challenge this year with various initiatives run mainly by the youth and the help of local mentors.

Each team has a mentor to help them with their act of kindness. After the community work is completed by the organizations, mentors will help advocate to the board that will then choose a first, second and third place winner.

Dianne Dube, Volunteer Development Coordinator at Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) in Stony Plain is mentoring one of the participating organizations.

“What intrigued me about the Compete to Contribute program is the business community working together with the non profit/voluntary sector in a great initiative which involves youth volunteering, creative ideas and contributions that pays it forward,” she said.

Four organizations that participated last year are back to the challenge this year as well. Some of the organizations that were part of the challenge are continuing the good work in the community on their own as well.

“Some of the teams that didn’t compete this year are continuing to do what they did last year without wanting the money, they are doing it because it’s beneficial for them and for their youth and the community so they continue doing it without re-enrolling in the competition,” said Wendel.
Youth and the community work together as part of the challenge, she explained.

“It provides the kids an experience to promote pride in their community, and for an opportunity to understand the effort needed to participate in organized sports.” she added.