Save our Seine with Julie Gray at their match meeting


Each year we present the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards. We 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 the nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles.


Today we are profiling our Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award Winner Julie Gray


Julie connected with Spark in 2017. At our first meeting she said that work colleagues had completed Spark matches, found them impactful, and wanted to volunteer her HR skills and expertise. She recognized that small nonprofits often require HR help but don’t have the budget or resources to retain a professional on staff.  With over twelve years of experience in HR we knew that Julie would be a great asset to any organization needing HR assistance. 


Since that fall day in 2017 Julie has completed 3 pro bono projects, she is nominated for her most recent one with Save Our Seine. When we approached Julie about this match she was excited as it gave her a chance to not only work with an environmental organization but one in her own backyard. 


Save Our Seine is a grassroots environmental organization engaged in protecting, enhancing, and advocating for the Seine River Greenway. The organization first reached out to Spark wanting to be connected to an HR expert to help them craft an HR policies to strengthen their organization.


According to Denis, Julie’s nominator, “Julie helped SOS through all stages of our policy development.” Julie “worked closely with two SOS representatives: to develop the criteria and main features expected of the policy; conducted research into relevant policies; developed a draft policy; incorporated feedback into the policy; presented the draft policy to SOS’s Governance Committee; refined the draft based on input received and created the final version of the policy that was approved by the SOS’s Board.”


In addition to all this work, what SOS really appreciated about Julie “was her very positive disposition, patience, and pleasant working style. She was able to listen and reflect on what she thought was relevant in the drafts she produced”


In the end, SOS reported that Julie’s work contributed to a stronger, healthier organization, giving them the ability to shift focus back to their environmental advocacy work.


Congratulations on your win, Julie! Thank you for volunteering your expertise to an organization that advocates for environmental sustainability! 


You can watch Julie and many other volunteers from across Manitoba being honoured at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards October 1st from 7:00 – 8:00 PM on CTV. For more information on the broadcast click here


Interested in reading more about our nominees? Check out our profiles on Denis DePape and Desiree Downey!