Megan Allard Community Builder and Changemaker
Nineteen year old Megan Allard is one of the most visible volunteers and leaders in Spiritwood. Through her involvement with the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL), she has led and contributed to fundraising initiatives that have reached well beyond her community.
This involvement is important not only to Megan, but it is a contributing factor to the success of all the local initiatives on whose behalf she works.
Prior to her graduation from Spiritwood High School (SHS), Megan was the inspiration for SHS students, leading celebrations for World Down Syndrome Day with a “Lots of Socks” event. This event raises awareness and illustrates solidarity for those in the community who may perceive life a little differently. Working with the local 4-H Club, Megan and young volunteers leveraged this event to raise funds for SACL.
Her small, personal projects can and do evolve into larger initiatives. The secret of Megan’s success lies in her actions, starting and sharing ideas! Without intending to, Megan models the example we should all emulate. Her initiative for collecting used clothing has grown into a major social enterprise and the Nu 2 U Clothing Depot now donates surplus items to SACL. Megan’s gift for ‘sparking’ new projects and inspiring ideas is a valuable trait and makes her an excellent ambassador in her role as a member of the provincial SACL Board of Directors.
In 2015, Megan was recognized by Lieutenant-Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield at Government House as Saskatchewan Junior Citizen of the Year. Since that time, in addition to being employed at the local grocery store, Megan has broadened her involvement in local charitable and volunteer based organizations. She now volunteers at the Nu 2 U Clothing Store, two local seniors residences and has been a member of 100 Who Care since its inception in February of 2017. She was recently instrumental in garnering a $3500 donation for the Spiritwood Long Term Care home.
Today, local economic development is a multi-dimensional approach that recognizes economic, environmental and social well-being are interdependent. Megan’s dedication is symbolic of how rural communities like Spiritwood are thriving, because of the spirit and volunteerism such as she so enthusiastically exhibits. Her positive actions and her caring, helpful nature are excellent examples of how we all should contribute to the world around us.
Although Megan does not intentionally set out to change lives with her community building efforts, many lives have been impacted for the better because of them. Megan’s hard work, organizational and motivational skills and her penchant for ‘disrupting old ways of doing things’ has led to changing the way charities in the Town of Spiritwood operate. According to local residents “she has taken us from a ‘me’ perspective to a ’we’ perspective and has elevated our expectations of each other, and our expectations for our community”.