If you ask Megan Tong and Kristin McLaughlan how they came to care about women’s rights, poverty and international issues, they’ll tell you it’s because they believe the world doesn’t have to be this way. That inequality and poverty do not have to be the pervasive problems they are.
Fiery and candid, both women share Oxfam’s vision: building a positive future now. A future where women and girls are free from the injustice of poverty. They are a part of an incredible network of Oxfam supporters who wake up in the morning wanting to make a difference in the lives of others — all around the world.
Based in Toronto, Megan is a life and business coach. In her previous life, she used to be an accountant and founded Kanga, Toronto’s first Australian-style meat pie company. Kristin is the Director of Marketing for CRM Dynamics and the founder of the Young Creators Challenge; a choreography competition aimed at helping young choreographers gain experience, exposure and funding.
In 2019, Megan and Kristin created their first-ever Take Auction Against Hunger. The concept was simple — host an auction gala with donated items, make it fun and engaging, and most importantly, bring awareness to an incredibly important cause.
“As a former restaurant owner, I used to go to live auctions for restaurant equipment. So many of my friends had never had a chance to experience this incredibly fun event, so we decided to create a live auction to raise funds,” shared Megan. “If you’ve never had the chance to bid live while someone talks a mile a minute, you will be surprised how exciting it is!”
Their first event raised more money than they expected and it was a blast. After the initial Take Auction Against Hunger, both women went on to organize a second gala in 2020. When asked what compelled them to keep going, Megan reflected on what she saw others gain from attending the event “One of the most rewarding moments was when one of my friends said, ‘Wow, [the event] was amazing. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I know I can do more. And I would like to do more.’”
Megan and Kristin knew that they were raising money for an important cause – but more than anything, they felt that raising awareness would change people’s behaviour for the long term. “This event was about showing people they can make a difference, and that their efforts impact real humans,” Megan said.
If you’ve thought about organizing a fundraiser, Megan’s word of advice? Be sure to make it fun and easy for yourself.
To date, Megan and Kristin have raised nearly $20,000 for Oxfam Canada through Take Auction Against Hunger.
Fundraising for Oxfam means building lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. It means improving the lives and promoting the rights of women and girls. It means together — we’re there with communities, partners and women’s rights organizations to challenge the systems that keep people poor.
Want to get started? Head over to fundraise.oxfam.ca/diy and start your own fundraiser.
You and Oxfam. Let’s build a more equal world together.