40 Years Old
Class of 2020
“What if, instead of waiting for someone else to fix it, I took care of it myself? And, what if I could encourage others to do the same?”
Twenty-twenty was the year Alanna Bottrell-King decided she was going to take charge of her passion for the community and put philanthropic actions at her forefront during the unprecedented times.
“This year has taught me that I can do a lot more for my community,” said the Stakeholder Relations Strategist with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “I have been so lucky in life, and I want to be more productive with my privilege.”
And just like that, Alanna created the @hellofortmcmurray Instagram account as one part love letter to the Wood Buffalo region and the other part accountability tracker.
“I want to dedicate the next twelve months to fixing little things in the community,” she explained. “We all have something that makes us nuts every time we see it. Graffiti on a mailbox, litter at the playground, dog poop on the walking path. What if, instead of waiting for someone else to fix it, I took care of it myself? And, what if I could encourage others to do the same?”
Alanna said that community activism starts with small, consistent gestures. As an example, she volunteered at a community garden and said she “apologized to the group leader for not contributing more hours to the project.”
The group leader, Sandra Campbell, replied by saying, “Imagine what the community would look like if everyone volunteered just one hour toward beautification efforts.”
Alanna reflected on her input and agreed.
“She’s right! Sandra is an inspiration. Her example of hard work and grace has changed my life,” Alanna said.
It also reminded Alanna of the Brownie Guide motto from her childhood in memories in Scouting.
“Each week, we pledged to do our very best for God, the Queen, and the country. Parts of the motto seem outdated now, but it got me thinking that maybe this is the best, most rewarding way to spend our time in service to the community,” she said. “I want my life to be an example of that.”