“We wanted more of a sense of community than we had in Toronto,” said Nicol.
“Once we arrived here, as Sam said, we just wanted to be more involved in the community, gain some roots,” continued Eadie. “The Innovators was kind of our first step in.”
The Innovators is a group of like-minded individuals that aims to engage young Oakville professionals in philanthropy while also providing networking opportunities within the Oakville Hospital and the Oakville community.
Innovators, including Nicol and Eadie, get exclusive invitations to Oakville Hospital Foundation cultivation events such as Dinner with Doctors, behind-the-scenes hospital tours and healthcare panels.
Nicol and Eadie started with the Innovators in January 2020, when they attended an event with a focus on pediatrics.
“We don’t know a ton of people in Oakville, so it was nice to gather with people around our age and in a similar step in life,” said Nicol.
“Then as we obviously moved more virtual, we were able to attend some of the virtual events that were offered through Innovators as well,” she continued. “One being on mental health, which was really great and obviously very topical. While working from home I think people are struggling with that a bit.”
Not only have the couple been attending the Innovator events, they’ve also contributed to the foundation with generous personal donations. As Innovators, the couple gets to vote on where their funds go, giving them the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the Oakville Hospital.
“I think what’s great about the Innovators as well is, yes, you make that personal donation towards the Innovators, but you also get a say in where those funds are being contributed to,” said Nicol. “It gives you a bit of a sense of empowerment as well. And you become even more invested to learn about the different areas of the hospital and where your money could actually make a difference and then getting to have a vote or say in where that goes is a nice feeling.”
As the duos’ second year of being involved with the Oakville Hospital Foundation continues, they have started to look for more ways to get involved. Nicol has started to do more things in the community and has joined the Community Engagement Committee.
Their philanthropic journey began about five years ago through their place of employment in Toronto, when Eadie attended the Oakville Charity Golf Tournament.
“A lot of the fundraising that we’ve actually done is probably more so through our employer, in the financial industry, and so that in and of itself is community-oriented, and you’re giving back either monetary or obviously with your time,” said Eadie. “And that’s probably been the lion’s share of the stuff that we’ve been contributing.”
Getting involved in their new community and networking has been a great experience for Nicol and Eadie so far, especially contributing to the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, where they know that the government does not fund the essential equipment and technology used in a hospital.
“This is where we live. This is our life,” said Nicol. “I want to feel like we’re giving back to our community as much as we can. I want to get more engaged and meet other like-minded people that are interested in the same things. It’s been a nice way to meet other people as well.”
“And especially the hospital,” she continued. “I feel like that’s something you typically need at some point in your life. What better way than in your own community to get connected there?”