Sometimes, the simplestideas can make the biggest impact.
A new fundraiser in Kanesatake is turning the idea of donations into something a little more exciting.
With KB & PG Spin’dles, there is more than one winner.
Spin’dles was started by two Kanehsata’kehró:non women with the intention to not only raise money and help out as much as they could, but also to pay it forward to those participating.
“It’s honestly so rewarding to be able to make people’s day, especially in light of the pandemic,” said one of the organizers Patricia Kahentanoron Gabriel.
Earlier this October, 27-yearold Gabriel was approached by her longtime friend Kassandra Kaiewate Bonspiel, 26, with the idea of organizing a “spin-towin” to raise money for various causes.
“I thought that the idea behind it could be something amazing within our community,” said Bonspiel.
She explained the concept as something very straightforward yet exciting, where community members buy tickets for slots on the wheel to get the chance to win different prizes. Each week, once all the slots are sold, the girls spin the wheel live on Facebook to announce the winners.
Part of the cost of the tickets covers the gifts, such as coffee machines, fashion or electronic items, while the rest goes into donations.
The previous Spin’dles have been able to each raise $200 for the the “Kanehsatà:ke supports Mi’kmaq fishermen raffle” hosted by Watsenniiostha Nelson and another $200 for the families of Antoine Paquin and Dylan Auger - the two young men who never made it home after a fishing trip at the Lake of Two Mountains on Saturday, November 14.
They have also donated to other places like the Kanehsatake Language & Cultural Center, and are always looking for more causes to help.
“I’m really grateful that we can be a part of something special like this,” said Gabriel.
While the women grew up together and now both work at the Kanesatake Health Centre, it’s the first time that they collaborate on such an initiative. With no sponsors or collaborators, the women are left to do everything by themselves while navigating their own personal lives.
“We have a similar way of thinking and doing things but we each bring something unique to the table and that’s how it ends up blending together well,” said Gabriel, mother of three. “We actually joked around at how this has turned us into shopaholics,” she added, explaining that they have been spending a lot of time either running around or shopping online.
The women also wanted to include the community as much as possible in the decision-making process. Bonspiel said that the community has been very supportive, whether it’s about choosing which organization the next donations will be handed to or what kind of prizes they would like to bet on.
“We brainstorm before to be able to give out bigger donations,” said Bonspiel, who is pregnant with her first child.
After listening to the community’s feedback, KB & PG Spin’dles introduced the Donation Meter on November 20, with the goal to raise $5,000. The amount will go towards helping students from the community pay their tuition fees.
As the initiative is gaining more and more popularity - we are talking about people waiting in virtual lines to get a ticket for the PlayStation 5 kind of attention - the women’s dream to give back is quickly becoming tangible.
“I strongly believe that it is the beginning of something amazing within Kanesatake,” said Bonspiel.
Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door