Q&A with Board Member Kim McIntyre-Leighton
We’re shining a well-deserved spotlight on the incredible individuals on LiveDifferent’s Board of Directors! Each person plays a pivotal role in guiding LiveDifferent’s vision, strategy and impact—fueling our mission to engage youth in a lifestyle of compassion and service. Their unwavering dedication and expertise have been instrumental in transforming countless lives and communities.
Meet Kim McIntyre-Leighton
Kim’s journey with LiveDifferent serves as a remarkable example of how passion, commitment, and a desire to make a difference can lead to meaningful change. As a dedicated member of the Board of Directors, Kim’s experiences—from her first Build in Mexico to her ongoing involvement in governance—highlight the profound impact that volunteering can have on both individuals and communities. This spotlight shares Kim’s insights and reflections on her journey with LiveDifferent.
Q: How did you first hear about or become involved with LiveDifferent?
A: Originally I heard about LiveDifferent through Malinda Roberts, back in 2006/2007. She told me about her brother Charles and moving his family to Mexico to facilitate the Builds program. Malinda and I worked in the same sector and my family wanted to volunteer somewhere so we planned our first Build for 2008 and brought my two kids! We loved the culture, the people and community, and the spirit of building. We went back for the whole next summer to help wherever we could with volunteers – we helped cook, serve food, transport volunteers, maintain the tools, and more.
Q: What inspired you to join the LiveDifferent board?
A: After many years of volunteering with different Builds after our first Build, and as our lives got busier in Winnipeg, I wanted to stay involved with LiveDifferent in some capacity. Charles was now the Executive Director and wanted to formalize policies and board governance. I was also an Executive Director with a charity so I could assist in helping with those goals.
Q: What is your favourite thing about being a board member?
A: Everyone has different opinions and viewpoints but can feel free to share. It’s a respectful environment and everyone has the same passion and values shared with LiveDifferent and why we do what we do. We all align with the reasons why LiveDifferent exists and how it supports people. You can see that in how the board talks, communicates and shares. We have lots of fun and laughter, but it always comes back to dignified service to the communities with which we have a connection. It’s an honour to be a part of the board.
Q: How has your experience with LiveDifferent changed you as a person?
A: It’s helped me to recognize that it’s important to work in our communities, along with other communities globally. We can all be a part of this work. When we returned from our first Build, we also started volunteering locally in Winnipeg.
Q: If you could pick one project or initiative that you are most proud of, what would it be and why?
A: The family that we worked alongside on our first house Build had kids the same age as mine. We still stay connected with that family to this day.
Q: What have been some of your most memorable moments with LiveDifferent?
A: The family on our first Build could not afford the school fees for their kids. We left enough money with them to start the kids in school. A couple of years ago, the son graduated high school and the daughter is now in teacher’s college. It shows that a hand-up, even a small one, makes a huge difference.
Q: How does your work with LiveDifferent fulfill your passions and values?
A: My values are showing dignity and respect to all people and those align so well with LiveDifferent, knowing that LiveDifferent goes into schools to address mental health and instill the values of kindness and compassion, especially up north.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting involved with us?
A: You’ll understand it when you experience it – whether it’s a Circles presentation, a Build, visiting the school in Haiti…when you watch a family open their front door for the first time – wow – it can’t be explained without experiencing it and any age is great to start. Start them young, instilling the values of compassion for other people. There is good leadership and great supervision that happens in a safe environment and it will change their life.
We are immensely grateful to the extraordinary individuals like Kim who comprise LiveDifferent’s Board of Directors. We are privileged to have such an exceptional group who wholeheartedly believe in our vision and generously share their time, skills and resources to ensure our success.
Learn more about our team and get inspired to create change alongside them.