When we embraced the idea of the 10 Hearts idea in celebration of Kitestring's 10 years, we were excited about how each Kitestringer would approach the challenge.
We always like to know the 'whys' of things, digging into what motivates decisions. Human nature is our best teacher. Part psychology/part Nancy Drew-Hardy Boys, we love learning more about...everything. We thought you might, too. Here goes.
Brandon St. Amand
Name, role and tenure at Kitestring.Brandon St. Amand, VP of Digital Development/Partner. I’ve been working with Kitestring since the start in 2007!
Give a brief overview of the project/initiative you chose.
The Mark Preece Family House is an amazing organization led by our friend Pearl Wolfe that offers a caring, affordable and absolutely beautiful place to stay for families who have loved ones in one of the Hamilton area hospitals.
Kitestring has donated our time and effort into making some website improvements, and spent a great night preparing dinner for the families at the House.
Why did you choose your project?
It wasn’t long ago that my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. I spent a lot of time in a small town in Northern Ontario where the doctors were incredible, but the amenities were scarce. We had to drive 5 hours to get to the nearest cancer clinic and were spending a lot of time away from home. It would have been great to have something like The Mark Preece Family House as a place to land in those tough times.
After seeing the incredible work that The Mark Preece House does, it was an easy choice for me to make.
What would people be surprised to learn about your initiative?
I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that there is an extremely affordable, near-luxury option here in Hamilton where people can stay if they have loved ones in the hospital. I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn that you can easily donate your time to help make a meal for these families in need.
What did you learn by having this be your part of the 10 Hearts Celebration?
If I learned anything, it was that I truly enjoyed talking with the families while we made and served them dinner. It allowed us to connect with them, hear their stories and give them someone to talk to, because in the end we all just want to make a connection, especially in tough times.
What have you learned most about your community in the 10 years Kitestring has been open?
I have learned that Hamilton has the size of a big city, but the heart of a small community.
What have you learned about yourself while being part of Kitestring?
Being at Kitestring this long has made me realize how much I appreciate my work family. We spend so much time with the people we work with, and I feel lucky that we have built a team that genuinely cares about each other, and shares the same values as each other.
Please take a look at The Mark Preece Family House and the good things they are doing. If you have the time to volunteer, or even want to attend one of their events, it’s worth it and it’s a great cause.