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Fiesty • Social • Caring

Her Story

Lois Tuffin

Fundraising Co-Ordinator - Five Counties Children's Centre

Lois' Story :

When I arrived in Peterborough in 1998, I knew no one. Now I cannot go anywhere without meeting a familiar face and getting a hug.

I quickly learned that a small city is like a small town and began networking enthusiastically while reporting for Peterborough This Week. While I told people’s stories by day, I quickly fell into community development and fund-raising by night.

First, I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, then joined the group working to open the city’s first youth emergency shelter. My main job was to explain to the community why these vulnerable young people couldn’t just go home. The connection between story-telling and fund-raising cemented itself in my consciousness.

The same connections rolled out a rebranding of Homegrown Homes (initially named the Peterborough Housing Development Corporation) then educating the public about the issues addressed by the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network. Next came the biggest challenge of them all.

In 2013, a small group of poverty-reduction advocates decided to create a new non-profit so we could buy, renovate and rent out the former Mount St. Joseph. The unknown and innovative large-scale project required millions of dollars, a leap of faith and a tremendous work ethic. We created a new model to sustain affordable housing and sold it to the community. My role focused on explaining how it worked and raising money to keep it going. It was the most challenging and rewarding work of my life so far. Please stop by to see what I mean.

Now, my day job is raising money to get kids walking, talking and building additional skills at Five Counties Children’s Centre. Once again, telling stories and inspiring donors go hand in hand, tied into my belief in building a community where everyone is welcome and valued.