Guest Blog By Susan Prophet, chair of the MPI Foundation Canada Council
Events for Communities of Sustainability, or ECOS, began in 2009 as a collective project with MPI, the MPI Foundation and our sponsor, AVW-TELAV. All eight Canadian chapters embraced the mission of building human connections in their communities and focusing on significant areas of food, water, shelter and education.
Through the diligence of the volunteers’ countless hours, more than 37,000 pounds of food were distributed in 2011. Already this year, four of the Canadian chapters distributed more than 11,000 pounds and others have helped more than 100 families, whose main income was impacted from a local resort fire.
There are also breakfast programs in place at local schools, helping children get a good start to their day. More than CAD$25,000 was raised in mid-February to support 160 school breakfast programs.
We have more sustainable events supporting ECOS in the spring…so stay tuned.
In the second year of the project, from 2010 to 2011, there was an uptick of 8.8 percent more food collected, which helped to increase the total value of goods by 24 percent.
ECOS is thriving this year across Canada, and with the help of the MPI chapter members and AVW-TELAV, there is a lot being done. We have captured the essence of ECOS by connecting to the local marketplaces in which we do business.
Our hopes are to build this into a global ECOS mission and engage MPI chapters around the world to embrace this vision by creating a positive community profile that facilitates both acceptance and recognition of our industry and helping others in need.
We are now adding our ‘ECOS Local Hero’ award to the project this year, and we encourage each chapter to choose a local individual who has gone above and beyond. Chapters will present this award to a deserving individual at spring meetings. My organization, Tourisme Québec, will be donating the awards.
ECOS is a framework to support sustainability in the communities where our members live and where we do business. It is a guide to help us focus specifically on building elements, which have a direct relationship to the meeting and event industry.
Let’s all do our share and support this great initiative. I am reaching out to all the MPI chapter leaders to join us on this mission.