Thursday October 22, 2020

“Read today, lead tomorrow.” This was a favourite saying of Dindin Villarino, more affectionately referred to as Auntie by myself, Tootie by my brother, and as a troublemaker by various friends and family. Auntie was the ultimate storyteller and always ensured that books and an active imagination were infused throughout our lives.

Every week she would take my brother and me to the local Chapters store to buy a new book. The act of cooking doubled as an opportunity to create epics. Armed with a stovetop and impressive plating skills instead of a pen, she would shape rice mountains and corn cobblestone roads that she would call “story food” on special occasions.

As I got older, I was able to read some of her own published work. Auntie was an author of poetry, short stories, and comics, often writing satirical pieces about family and the church. Her work was published in English, her native tongue Bisaya, and Tagalog. Her research as a student in the University of Toronto focused on motherhood and the role of women in the Philippines’ informal economy. As a teacher of anthropology and sociology, she loved working with young people.

Later in life as an Economic Development Coordinator in Northumberland County, she ardently defended her numerous proposals for making life better and more inclusive in our region. Even after her diagnosis with a life-threatening illness, Auntie worked on the successful project 150 Stories and Images of Arrival connecting members of the community by encouraging them to share their own stories.

The Story Behind the Fund

“Our family established the Dindin Villarino Fund to honour her passions of supporting women, youth, and newcomers, and their love for creative writing and literary expression,” writes Katrina Valles, niece of Dindin.

“We hope that through the Fund, we continue her story and as a result, imbue others with the strength and opportunity to tell their own.”

By establishing a fund with the Community Foundation, you will have the flexibility to shape your own charitable giving to reflect your values and interests. Professional management by the Community Foundation ensures that the process is simple and straightforward. Donating securities, life insurance policies, or RRIF/RRSP proceeds while living or through your will can provide significant tax advantages.

Whether you want to address an urgent need in the community, honour the memory of a loved one or support your favourite charity, a fund with the Community Foundation allows you to make a difference today, with a lasting and sustainable impact.

The Community Foundation encourages anyone with an interest in giving back to their community to get in touch and speak with staff at the Foundation. Staff are also available to discuss other ways of giving.

By Katrina Valles with support from Todd Barr