Alyson and Gen at the award presentation where Alyson was stung by multiple wasps. Sorry, Alyson!


Each year we present the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards. Like many other special events, this celebration is typically done in person, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Volunteer Manitoba has once again decided to host the awards celebration online via their Facebook page.


Regardless if we come together in-person or over our computers, we at Spark always look forward to this day because it gives us a chance to recognize our volunteers and the impact their work has had on the community, as well as celebrate volunteerism throughout Manitoba.


From now until awards night, we are celebrating these nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles.


Today we are profiling the winner, Alyson Shane!


Alyson has been nominated for the Outstanding Pro Bono Consultant Award for her work as a social media expert.


Alyson has been a Spark volunteer since 2018, and is the President of Starling Social – a digital marketing company. Alyson was involved with three separate Spark Matches, with her award nomination coming from a match with New Journey Housing.


New Journey Housing provides resources to train, assist, and support newcomers to Canada, and those who support them, through the process of attaining and retaining decent affordable housing in Manitoba.


New Journey Housing’s ED Codi Guenther asked for a Spark Match to help the organization build up their social media, connect with current and potential clients prior to coming to Canada, as well as network with other non-profits in the community. Like most non-profits, budgets can be limited.


“We were able to develop social media strategies – involving both Facebook and Instagram. As well as connecting a blog to our website, and increase our regular newsletter subscribers,” says Codi. “Since working with Ms. Shane our website usage has increased and our workshop participation has also grown.”


Codi says that social media is also a great way to keep connected and engaged with other agencies, and the work that they do. New Journey is able to stay in solidarity, and support the work of other community organizations, their clients and programming.


Congratulations on your nomination, Alyson! We thank you for volunteering your skills through Spark to help community organizations build strong, healthy communities.


Interested in reading more about our nominees? Check out our profiles on Regan Windsor, Nan Colledge,  Desiree Harder and Stephanie Johnston!