Doug MacDonald has been an integral part of the Ward 5 Neighborhood Centre for over 44 years. As Executive Director of Ward 5, Doug continues to exemplify outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing the needs of families and seniors in North End Halifax. Many of the recipients of Ward 5 live below the poverty line and every month can bring with it challenging decisions about whether to pay the rent or seek needed medical care, to put gas in the car or healthy food on the table, to purchase warm gloves or school supplies for a child. Ward 5 helps to lessen this burden every day to so many in the community. In 2015, The Ward 5 Centre experienced a financial hardship when the Centre was forced to close for major renovations. The closure of the Centre was not an option for Doug and he fundraised tirelessly in the Community to raise the much needed funding to keep the doors open for all. 2) Under Doug’s directive, the Ward 5 Centre continues to develop programs aimed to help children; families and seniors empower their lives. The Senior Services, a daily hot meal program not only provides a senior with a hot meal but it also gives them the opportunity to engage in the community; and every day Doug provides transportation to and from the Centre for the seniors. The Ward 5 Breakfast program is offered free of charge to any child that lives in the community. With the escalating food costs, many families are struggling to provide for their families. Doug ensures that no one at Ward 5 ever goes hungry. Doug’s compassionate heart is the pulse of Ward. 5. 3) Doug MacDonald served as a council appointed volunteer on the Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day Committee since 1995 in capacity of Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chair & Sponsorship Chair. Doug has volunteered thousands of hours to help grow the Natal Day Festival into the marquee local festival it now is. Over the past 20 years on the Natal Day Committee, he has focused on strengthening community building and celebrating “pride of place” with both local citizens and the visiting public. Doug sees the value of volunteering his time for Natal Day and other organizations as part of his on-going contribution in helping to build capacity in the community and creating a better place to live.
Doug has been a great support for his paid and volunteer staff. He is a mentor to people and that is the reason they have dedicated so many years to the organization. Student’s go to Ward 5 as part of their placement programs because of the learning experience. Douglas always supported the staff, in recognizing their needs, approaching the Board on their behalf for pay increases, and always exhibits the flexibility and openness needed to maintain a healthy work environment. Doug is very open to the Board’s suggestions and supportive of any ideas that come his way.
2017 Halifax Bhayana Family Foundation Awards
Recognizing the extraordinary staff of United Way-funded agencies who make a difference every day.
Halifax Public Library, June 19th, 2017
Keynote: UW CEO Sara Napier
In attendance were three Councillors: Councillors Lindell Smith, Sam Austin and Shawn Cleary