Tracy Van Kalsbeek is a woman with a mission. She wants to make our community a better place.
She began early. She remembers organizing a clothing drive for a schoolmate in need when she was eight. She joined the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets when she was 12. “We were encouraged to get involved in the community,” she says. She began to notice that there were organizations, like United Way, set up to help others.
Much of her career has been in the charitable and non-profit sector. “This has allowed me to see my community through different eyes. Working for, then leading a community foundation has put philanthropy front and centre during my career.”
Making our community a better place is one of the things that brought her to the YW. “I care deeply about empowering women in our community—to lift themselves out of poverty, to become leaders. As a working mom, I also care about inspiring younger generations. The YW does all of these things.”
“I believe in the good work of the YW, in the support and services the YW provides.”
She sat on the YW board from 2012 until 2017, serving as Board president from 2014 to 2016. She also chaired the Leadership and Nominations Committee for three years. And she’s a donor. “I’ve donated money, blankets, socks, clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories to help women and families in need in our community,” she says. “And I’ll remain a faithful Club 84 member.”
Tracy describes herself as “an avid volunteer in our community.” Her current volunteer activities take her in many different directions—Chicopee Ski and Summer Resort, City of Waterloo, Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada, and Waterloo Regional Tourism Marking Corporation.
“I want to be remembered as a person who cared deeply about her family and her community and spent her career trying to help others.”
“I feel it’s my duty to leave our community in a better place than it was when I got here,” she says, “for my children and my children’s children. My twin girls are 21. My husband and I have a grandbaby on the way.”
She quotes Nelson Henderson: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
To learn more about how you can be involved with the YW Kitchener-Waterloo, please visit our How You Can Help page.