Our President, Arthur Chan at the Senate of Canada

D2D President Arthur Chan and Witnesses discussing about the impact of youth volunteerism in Canada and how to engage youth

It was an absolute honor for our D2D Destiny Foundation to be recognized by the Senate of Canada. Congratulations to our President, Arthur Chan, who presented to the Senate of Canada Special Committee on the Charitable Sector. Arthur shared about our team’s journey and the growing importance of youth philanthropy.

D2D President Arthur Chan at the Ottawa's Senate Chamber

Below is a full transcript of Arthur's sharing at the Senate Committee:

The Chair: Fine. Thank you. So agreed.

For our first panel today we have, from the D2D Destiny Foundation, Mr. Arthur Chan, Founder and President; from Jumpstart - Refugee Talent, Mr. Mustafa Alio, Co-Founder and Development Director; and from the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia — a fine place — Ms. Arlene MacDonald, Executive Director. Welcome. And from Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp and Retreat Centre, Mr. Chris Pot, Program Director.

Thank you for accepting our invitation to appear. I would like to invite the witnesses to make their presentations. I remind everyone of five to seven minutes for your presentations. Then, when we get to questions, our senators will be short and succinct, and we’d appreciate your keeping your answers short and succinct so that we can get in as many questions as possible.

We will start with Mr. Chan, please.

Arthur Chan, Founder and President, D2D Destiny Foundation:  Thank you, Mr. Chair and fellow Senate committee members, for having me here today. It’s an absolute honour to have the opportunity to speak.

I would like is to start by sharing a bit about my personal story. The philosophy of social responsibility and volunteerism has been entrenched in my understanding of business and the community that I grew up in. My medical history inspired me to begin my philanthropic journey. At the age of 3, I spent four years at BC Children’s Hospital as a patient braving leukemia.

In 2010, friends and I founded the Young Ambassador Program, with the goal of youth inspiring youth to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Our team has grown from its humble beginnings of eight founding members to over one hundred dedicated members each year, all of us working towards a common goal. Last year, we surpassed our $1-million fundraising milestone.

In 2014, our founders and I wanted to expand our impact, and we founded a non-profit organization called D2D Destiny Foundation. D2D stands for the conviction that anyone can dare to dream, and every dream comes from an idea.

The most important element of our Young Ambassador Program and D2D Destiny Foundation is the fact that we are more than just a team. We’ve grown like a tight-knit family with a strong team chemistry.

There is a strong sense of continuity within our program. In 2017 we expanded our family and founded the Little Angels program, which consists of elementary students who follow their older siblings’ footsteps. I think the most rewarding part of my journey is seeing each of our members join us at a very young age and all of them develop into leaders in their own ways.

The most special element of our D2D Destiny Foundation is our innovative e-Philanthropy Store, where we combine the universal love for fashion, the dominant force of e-commerce and the support of generous donors. The concept of our online store is bringing awareness of, and engagement in, philanthropy to a new generation in an appealing and universally accessible way. Through our online support, we sell second-hand designer goods, and 80 per cent is donated to a designated charity that we support. Aside from our e-Philanthropy platform, we use our e-store to promote social entrepreneurship by offering youth a platform to sell their goods while supporting a good cause in the community.

Another way we engage with our members is through the idea of “Aptitude Gratitude,” where we identify our members’ talents and use their skills to make a difference in the community. I truly believe that it’s a huge priority to have a philanthropic mindset instilled in youth.  A transfer of wealth from baby boomer generations to millennials will prompt younger generations to begin philanthropy, and we hope the government can encourage and promote the notion of youth philanthropy, entrepreneurship and social enterprise by providing new organizations with more funding and support.

Our team’s dream is to become the Amazon of charity. A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission. Dare to dream for a better world.

On behalf of my team members, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to share our story.