On October 14, 2020, Nova Scotia’s non-profit sector had a long overdue moment in the sun. It was declared a Day of Recognition by the premier and featured the Bhayana Family Foundation Invisible Champion Awards recognizing 20 incredible people and organizations for their impactful work.
“The provincial non-profit sector plays a critical role in supporting vulnerable and marginalized Nova Scotians, but the sector doesn’t always receive the recognition it deserves,” says Alexandra Theroux, Operations Manager with the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia.
“With the pandemic, we saw the impact non-profits were having across the province. Beyond that, we heard the calls for more to be done to recognize these invisible champions.”
Growing the awards beyond HRM
Since 2017, the Bhayana Family Foundation Awards have given folks in HRM the chance to celebrate the local non-profit sector and seven of its invisible champions. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased demand and pressure on Nova Scotia’s non-profits, it was clear that more needed to be done to recognize the sector province-wide. The Bhayana Family Foundation, United Way Halifax, the Community Sector Council and the Province of Nova Scotia partnered and created a virtual event to give the sector the appreciation it deserves.
The Day of Recognition was about more than just pats on the back. It was a moment to celebrate Nova Scotian non-profits, their staff, and volunteers and to recognize their tremendous collective effort throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celebrating individuals and organizations
The Bhayana Family Foundation Invisible Champion Awards were a highlight of the celebration. 10 individuals and 10 organizations from across Nova Scotia were recognized for their positive impact in 2020 and were presented with $1000 each.
“It was especially great to see the awards grow from only individuals to both individuals and organizations,” says Alexandra. “It’s often not just one person running the show. Recognizing a whole team of staff and volunteers was meaningful. And knowing that the $1000 award was going to help that organization further their mission in some way was truly special.”
What it means to win
The awards were also meaningful for winners like Wanda Hill. “It was amazing,” reflects Wanda, the Facilities Manager with YWCA Halifax. “I’ve been with YWCA for 30 years. I do the work behind the scenes, and you often don’t realize the impact you’re having. That’s why this award was such a huge honour.”
Wanda perfectly captures the spirit of the Invisible Champion Awards and she is now part of a remarkable group of Nova Scotians. “There were so many valuable contributions that had been made throughout the province and so many fantastic winners. Just reading their stories was humbling and it humbles me to know that I am included in that group,” says Wanda.
“Having that award behind you pushes you forward. It encourages you to do more, to be more and to share more.”
The Day of Recognition was a bright point in an incredibly challenging year for Nova Scotia’s non-profit sector, its staff and volunteers. “It was really important to take the time to highlight that these organizations and their staff do amazing work,” says Alexandra. “Look at the impact and reach they have! Especially in a global pandemic.”
The full list of the 2020 Bhayana Family Foundation Invisible Champion Award winners can be found on our website.
Facts & Stats
non-profit organizations in Nova Scotia
of Nova Scotia's non-profits are women led
Nova Scotians are employed by non-profits
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