Written by: Jen Head, Fund Development Manager
The first time I met Kevin Haughton was years ago at Closer to Home’s Report to the Community Meeting. I was a new employee at Closer to Home, and had the pleasure of sitting with Kevin and learning about him, his family and his connection as Closer to Home’s benefits/insurance provider.
Kevin graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2002, and he started working in insurance shortly afterwards. In 2004, he married Melodie and they moved to Okotoks where they had two children, Alexander who recently turned 12, and nine-year-old Cassia. Kevin says that they have a great network in Okotoks, including friends from school, sports and life. “Family means everything,” Kevin says, when asked what family means to him.
Kevin was introduced to Closer to Home in 2007 when he became our employee benefits/insurance consultant. Soon after, he learned about Closer to Home’s Adopt-a-Family initiative and decided to get involved as a donor; registering to adopt a family.
After purchasing gifts and grocery gift cards, Kevin, his wife and his son Alexander, three years old at the time, traveled with a Program Coordinator to the family’s home to personally deliver the Christmas packages.
The family invited Kevin and his family inside for tea and homemade treats, and their little boy asked Alexander to play with him while the adults talked. Kevin remembers when the boy reached under the couch and pulled out a shoebox full of toys. Kevin’s eyes widened as he realized those were all the toys he had. It turned out that all of the little boy’s possessions fit into one single shoebox. Kevin was blown away and says this is when he realized the impact of his support.
A few weeks later, Kevin received a card in the mail personally signed from the family, thanking Kevin and his family for their generosity. “We still have that card,” says Kevin, “and we keep it with our Christmas ornaments. We take it out every Christmas as a reminder of how lucky we are.”
Since then, Kevin and his family have generously donated to Closer to Home, supporting different programs, attending events and encouraging the spirit of philanthropy in others.
For example, a few years ago, Kevin’s mom was visiting from Ontario and he brought her to a Closer to Home Stampede Breakfast event. Kevin said that she had a great time meeting the staff and learning about the work of Closer to Home: “She was so touched by that event, that when she got home to Ontario, she sent a donation!”
Fast forward several years later, I am interviewing Kevin as he has been selected as Closer to Home’s 2019 Donor of the Year. He is truly humbled to receive this honour. “It was unexpected,” he says. “It is nice to know my support is making a difference.”
Kevin says that the stories he hears at our annual Report to the Community Meeting inspire him. “Being able to see the results through the stories of the people that are being impacted…that encourages my constant support,” says Kevin.
He also says that he believes his support has come full circle. “I’m sure that the mother of the family we helped through Adopt-a-Family that first year spoke at the Report to the Community meeting last year,” says Kevin. “She is now giving back to Closer to Home through her volunteer efforts. That’s amazing! That’s real return on investment; knowing that my contributions have lasting and meaningful impact.”
You ARE making a lasting and meaningful impact, Kevin. On behalf of the families we serve, thank you for your continued support and congratulations on receiving Closer to Home’s 2019 Donor of the Year Award.