Edwina Nearhood: What is your social statement?


Never underestimate a small act of kindness. It can make a huge impact. 

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Sometimes a social status offers great power. A corporation can make a huge difference. Persons with great wealth can influence change and the work of many can effect systematic change.

This week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reduced their following list on Instagram. They choose to use their Instagram account to highlight mental health projects dedicated to the field. It is reported that they will continue the campaign with a different theme or cause each month.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, has made donations that have global impact. Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa are two people who have affected great social change. These people have and had the ability to impact great change with a singular voice.

Corporations are now investing in a social impact statement or corporate responsibility statement (CRS) that confirms how the operations affect social and environmental factors in the communities they operate.

Petronas is guided by their corporate sustainability framework. Shell Canada has an annual report that outlines their annual contributions to society. There are many international corporations that give back to the communities of their employees. We are very fortunate for the corporate contributions of many many companies in Fort St. John. 

What does a social statement look like in Fort St. John? Do you support local business? I often hear people complain about lack of goods and services. Do you shop locally? Are you willing to pay just a little bit more (less than the cost of a tank of gas to shop elsewhere) to support local small business operators? Can you sustain yourself on the 100 mile diet? Do you support local food growers? When a new business opens do you make an effort to support their product?

Does your corporate contribution consider the under privileged, poverty reduction, and supporting the social safety net? Does your donation to your church support your community in meaningful ways?

Are you able to offer donations in kind or discounts to services for local not-for profits? Do you attend fundraisers and support your community in trade for a night of fun, activity, and outbidding your friends for an item that essentially may offer programming support for those in the greatest need? 

Does your business and family have a social statement? Do you make a concentrated effort once a month to support a charity or organization with manpower, goods, services or donations? Do you allow staff approved paid or unpaid time off for the purpose of service? Are you aware of what service organizations are important to your staff? 

Is your shopping influenced by e-commerce or community? Do you want more screen time or stronger communities? The choice is yours. 

What is your social statement? The power of one affects little change. The power of many impacts great change. 

Perhaps the e-commerce giant you shop with on a regular basis has a corporate responsibility to help communities. Is it helping your community? Would this influence how you shop? The voice of one is seldom heard. The voice of many affects great change. Will you be the voice of many?

Strong, healthy, happy, successful communities are built on social impact of the people and corporations that live and work there. Reflection time. What is your social statement? Have you made a difference in some way? Time, donation, services, support? 

Edwina Nearhood is a lifelong resident of Fort St. John. Her 30-year experience in the appraisal industry offers a unique lens on the challenges associated with the economic forces impacting real estate and the community.  

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