Meet Our Members

The Tiffany Circle is a community of women philanthropists from across Canada committed to furthering the humanitarian mission of the Canadian Red Cross locally, nationally, and around the world. Meet five members and learn why they choose to support the Red Cross, how they decided to join the Tiffany Circle and their own Tiffany Circle experiences.
 

Carole-Ann, Alyssa and Samantha Miller – Halifax, NS

tc-millers-story-250x250.jpgAlyssa and Samantha Miller are what you’d call “overachievers”, and they come by it honestly. Their mother is Carole-Ann Miller, owner and operator of Maple Trade Finance, a transactional lending business. All three remarkable women in this family are members of the Tiffany Circle.

Carole-Ann first was introduced to the Canadian Red Cross when she was approached to make a gift to the Building for Humanity capital campaign. She admits she didn’t know a lot about what the Red Cross did outside of its global humanitarian efforts, but once she learned more, it was the community component that motivated her.

“Learning about how the Red Cross helps people locally in communities across Canada was what really resonated with me,” said Carole-Ann.  “I spent a few of my teen years living on the streets. I now live comfortably, and am very cognizant of the fact that others may not be so fortunate.”

Following the campaign, Carole-Ann decided to continue her involvement with the Red Cross through the Tiffany Circle. “I’m sure every woman has their own motivation for why they become a member, but for me, it was so that I could join my two daughters in making a community contribution together. My girls are my life and I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

Carole-Ann has reason to be a proud mama. Both her daughters, Samantha age 20 and Alyssa age 17, are accomplished, philanthropic young women. In addition to being members of the Tiffany Circle alongside their mom, they volunteer in various other capacities including soup kitchens, working with disadvantaged children, and organizing third party fundraising events.

The most successful fundraiser Samantha and Alyssa were involved with was for the Red Cross. They organized a campout event to raise funds and awareness. In addition to the funds raised overall at the event, these young women garnered more than $150,000 on their own for the Red Cross.

The most memorable experience of being a Tiffany Circle member for Carole-Ann so far has been her trip to Haiti with the Red Cross. “I had the chance to meet with people who have benefitted from donor generosity; it was an amazing journey. I appreciated the intelligence with how the Red Cross approaches their donations and their emphasis on sustainability in these impacted communities”.
Outside of this family’s fundraising activities and volunteer work, they are all kept busy with their ongoing education. Samantha is in her third year at the University of Southern California in International Relations, Alyssa has been accepted with a scholarship in Biochemistry to Queen Mary, part of the University of London England, and Carole-Ann is hoping to start her PhD in Organizational Behaviour shortly.

In such a philanthropic and driven family, it would almost seem like these women wouldn’t have time for any other interests, but all the Miller ladies share a passion for the arts. Their work with the Red Cross might just be their true masterpiece.
 

Anna Hunt-Binkley – Lake Country, BC

tc-anna-story-250x250.jpgSometimes there are moments in our lives that take us down unexpected paths. For retired lawyer and school trustee Anna Hunt-Binkley, one of those moments occurred after suffering a bad fall while away at a horse show. “I was recuperating at home from the surgeries and had time to reflect on where I was headed,” said Anna. “It was then that I received a call from Sarah at the Red Cross.” Anna and Sarah had worked together previously in a different capacity, and Sarah asked if they could meet to discuss the work happening at the Red Cross.

Anna had experience with the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program in the past to help her mom, and felt she knew a little bit about the organization. After an in-depth discussion with Sarah, Anna gained a more global understanding. “My eyes were opened to the breadth of the work the Red Cross does and the meaningful international work they are involved with.”

After thoughtful consideration, Anna jumped right in and agreed to Chair the Red Cross "Building for Humanity" fundraising campaign in Kelowna B.C., which raised $3 million. “I’m a firm believer that if you are leading a cause, you have to put your best foot forward, so after making our personal gift to the campaign, the Red Cross staff asked if I’d considered being a member of the Tiffany Circle.”

Since becoming a Tiffany Circle member, Anna has had the opportunity to attend the Tiffany Circle Summit in Washington hosted by the American Red Cross twice and is registered for her third. It was that first Summit that Anna said made a lasting impression. “The energy, commitment and vision of this powerful group of women leaders for the Red Cross had a profound impact on me. Since then, I’ve become much more involved in the Tiffany Circle because we continuously support and strengthen the Red Cross, and that is what is most important to me.”

Anna’s hope is that the Tiffany Circle will continue to grow here in Canada. She encourages others who are considering becoming a member to do their research. “Learn more about the Red Cross. Go and meet some of the people at your local branch. Resources like the MoneySense magazine rating of Canadian charities was also a powerful one for me.” 
Even with most of Anna’s time occupied by supporting community organizations including the Red Cross, she still finds time to explore other passions which include riding her horses six days a week. “It really does put a smile on my face. I enjoy being active and giving back,” said Anna. “I feel it’s very important in our lives.” Anna has been married to her husband for 34 years and they have three grown sons. She said “marital harmony comes with compromises however each person must continue to walk their own path.”

We are glad your path led you to the Red Cross Anna!
 

Darlene Haslam – Calgary, AB

tc-haslams-story-250x250.jpgIt was shortly after major flooding wreaked havoc in Southern Alberta in 2013 that Darlene Haslam got to know the Canadian Red Cross better.  Witnessing the efforts of the Red Cross inspired Darlene to learn more about the many other facets of the Red Cross.

A Chartered Accountant by day, Darlene was already involved with volunteer work for local causes, but it was the International work of the Red Cross that rounded out her interests.

“What really resonated with me was the work being done by the Red Cross in the areas of child and maternal child health,” said Darlene. Having traveled to many other countries, Darlene realizes how fortunate we are to live in Canada. “I thought if I could help in any way, that’s what I wanted to do.”
Since becoming a Tiffany Circle member, Darlene has hosted a number of events to introduce the Tiffany Circle to other women in Alberta. “Listening to the wonderful guest speakers and their stories of success, you walk away thinking: that’s the kind of organization I want to be involved with,” said Darlene.

What is most impressive to Darlene is the immediate impact that the Red Cross has in terms of their collaborative international presence. “With volunteers in place in 189 countries around the world, people are already entrenched in these communities. Delivery of health and safety aid to many of these countries are more widely accepted because the message is being delivered by people from within their own communities,” said Darlene. “Also, in the event of a disaster or epidemic, volunteers are already in place to assist and so the Red Cross is first on scene.  Having that widespread volunteer base in place internationally is what sets the Red Cross apart.”

Outside of her involvement with the Red Cross, Darlene said being active and participating in sports is a big part of her family’s life. She spends a great deal of the summer at their second home in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia water-skiing, wake surfing hiking and gardening. An animal lover, Darlene has six horses, two golden retrievers, and five cats at their ranch west of Calgary.

She has climbed Kilimanjaro, hiked through Bhutan, but her biggest adventure might just be starting. Her youngest of two children is heading to University this year officially making her and her husband empty nesters. More travel will likely be in Darlene’s near future, and she’s hoping to go on donor missions with the Red Cross one day.

Learn how to join the Tiffany Circle by contacting:

Julie Brown, CFRE julie.brown@redcross.ca
Phone: (416) 480-2500 ext. 2245