COLE BURSTON via Getty Images
Martin Dimitrov via Getty Images
Do we want to only wait to give when there is a big problem? It's time to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves what kind of Canada we want to be.
Phil McCarten / Reuters
The WE Pledge isn't just about us. When I take the Pledge, I'm not just making a promise to our organization. I am making a commitment to my family, my community, my country and the world. I am committing to make a difference through my daily actions.
asiseeit via Getty Images
I dream of a world where every child, no matter where they're from, has an opportunity for education. And if I had a super power, it would be teleportation, so I could share the lessons of travel and exploration with everyone. There is so much to learn about the world, each other and ourselves -- and travel is the best way to do it.
kieferpix via Getty Images
Traditions are an important part of family life. Research shows maintaining customs makes families stronger and more stable, and gives children a feeling of comfort and security. But I don't simply want to build traditions for traditions' sake. I want to think about how I can use these family rituals to fulfill my pledge to live WE, to make a difference with my actions every day. Here are some ideas to start a tradition that gives back -- from my family to yours.
Let's all think about why and how Canadians can be encouraged to give their time, talent or treasure for the common good, and then find ways to put our ideas into action. And let's challenge ourselves to become an even more caring nation.
littlehenrabi via Getty Images
It seems like a no brainer. Supporting charitable organizations and doing acts of kindness is the right thing to do. Most people get that. My family and many Canadians are very privileged. I feel we have an obligation to give back, to "pay it forward."
KeithBishop via Getty Images
Travel is more than rest and relaxation for me. It's how I learn, grow, and find inspiration for my sometimes dull life at home in Toronto. Every trip I take has a profound impact on me, but I want it to have a profound impact on the people and places I visit too. These five simple ways I travel consciously -- both environmentally and socially -- are easy for any traveler to implement and are guaranteed to make every holiday more beneficial for you and your destinations.
PhotoAlto/Michele Constantini via Getty Images
I say "Bah Humbug" to The Fraser Institute for saying an average Canadian is less generous than their American neighbour. Their 2016 Generosity Index makes Canadians look bad because Canadian give much less to charity. Cash gifts are only one part of the generosity story.
ArtemSam via Getty Images
It was 1991 and my first Christmas in my new home after my emotionally draining divorce. We lived in a depressed area. My family was 400 km away. I was struggling financially with a small business, helping in the community where I could, while nurturing my four-year-old who had some health challenges.
Welcome to microvolunteering, 10-minute increments of doing good that can (mostly) be done from home. Code-slingers and charities are inventing ways to make use of these small pockets of downtime to give a growing movement of people the chance to step up for a cause.
Vitaliy Pakhnyushchyy via Getty Images
The word "legacy" can mean different things to different people. To some, it means passing on wealth to their children. To others, it means ensuring their name lives on. In the end, leaving a legacy all comes down to being remembered, to making sure our lives counted for something that won't soon be forgotten.
Jupiterimages via Getty Images
Every year, charities reap the benefits of Canadians' generous holiday spirit, seeing a significant bump in December donations. In fact, more than a third of CanadaHelps' annual donations are achieved in this one month alone. While that seasonal generosity is important for charities, there is an unfortunate downside -- as the seasons change and the weather gets warmer, donations tend to dry up, leaving gaps for many organizations. I call this the "summer drought."
Alistair Berg via Getty Images
I'm sure each of us can remember a time when we've volunteered at a local event, donated to a cause that is close to our hearts, or simply did something selfless because it felt good. It may not seem like it, but every time we do, we are developing the leadership skills required to run a successful business and ultimately become a stronger leader.
On Nov. 20, 2014, my world was rocked by words we all dread: "I'm sorry, you have cancer." We have all been affected by cancer in one way or another -- loved ones, perhaps parents and/or other relatives who have had to fight that battle. Some may have won that battle; however, many may not have been not as fortunate.
Tetra Images via Getty Images
This was the fourth Christmas with Amanda gone. It feels just like the first one with the deep sighs and sadness. I personally am not feeling that it gets easier with each year going by because the loss is still there. It's not about forgetting or getting over it. It's about missing someone you loved. Yes certainly, we have other family that we love and care about. And we don't love them any less. My experiences this Christmas season have been phenomenal for giving back. Some on my own and some with Amanda's legacy.
Voren1 via Getty Images
When was the exact moment that Christmas became synonymous with buying stuff I do not know, but it seems that we've reached a point of gifting no-return. The idea of simply spending Christmas with your family without the obligatory spending and consumption is not even a possibility. If you're an average person living in a Western nation you can be pretty confident that your intended gift-receiver already has everything he or she needs and most likely lives a year where their other superfluous wants are often met.
william87 via Getty Images
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas -- oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- overspending...Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Manuel Faba Ortega via Getty Images
The benefits of volunteering for something you are passionate for and believe in are countless, but it wasn't until recently -- in the last few years to be specific -- that I discovered there were so many opportunities to volunteer that I wasn't pursuing.
dolgachov via Getty Images
At a time of year where we should be feeling lighthearted, jovial and happy, we are feeling guilty, unhappy and stressed. Keeping our cool this holiday season will require many of us to reflect upon the giving season in a way we have never done before.
igor kisselev, www.close-up.biz via Getty Images
It is my hope that the gift of giving back is something we're going to see a lot of this holiday season. From sponsoring an immigrant family escaping a war-torn nation to lending a helping hand at a local soup kitchen, there's always a way to give back.
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
As my professional life blossomed so did the work expectations and long hours that I needed to put into my demanding career. It was an inverse relationship in the making: the more I worked, the less time I had for personal things in my life like athletics, friends and relationships. Something had to give. And sadly it was volunteering.
Charity should not just be about giving away money, rather, one can give away almost anything to anyone in need. I'm not saying don't give -- I'm saying to do your research to find something that has importance and to give with thoughtfulness, true spirit and a genuine desire to help.
A new school year is just a few days away and while I love summer (and I had a really great one) I'm really looking forward to going back to school. A new year at school is when you get a fresh start. You can put last year behind you and you get to try new things and do things differently.
franckreporter via Getty Images
It's hard to drum up generosity in a world that always demands you to give, give, give. So, this International Day of Charity, don't give. Take. Here are five takeaways that will make you ready to give again.
There are many organizations helping Canadians tackle a wide range of issues, from homelessness to feeding hungry schoolchildren. What they all have in common is a commitment to enacting real change,...
ISHARA S.KODIKARA via Getty Images
To celebrate her , Maya decided that she was going to do 12 random acts of kindness in one day. She organized a race between three teams trying to do the acts as fast as they could! Sounds kind of like The Amazing Race, right? They called it #MayasAmazingRaceOfKindness.
Kathmandu's weak infrastructure had not been able to withstand an earthquake of that magnitude. In the week following the quake immediate relief efforts were made by locals and large organisations alike. Emergency distributions of rice ensured people could survive the first few days.
Shutterstock / Aletia
Adam Grant author of Give and Take says that the magic number when it comes to volunteering is one hundred hours per year or two hours a week. Research shows that if people volunteer about two hours a week, their happiness, satisfaction, and self-esteem increase a year later.
CGissemann via Getty Images
Mabel is one of the elderly participants in an ongoing study at Rush University in Chicago. When she decided to set a goal at 85 years old to write one letter a week, she no longer felt cocooned at home because of her arthritis. Researchers, including psychologist Dr. Patricia Boyle, have discovered that having a purpose in life can actually improve our health.
Vstock LLC via Getty Images
Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, we're putting out a call to everyone — yes, everyone — to give a gift. We have lots of suggestions of things you can give your significant other, from special getaw...
LuckyBusiness via Getty Images
Though cancer made me see my mom in her worst physical state, I will always remember her as a strong businesswoman and a dedicated banker. She was a woman who paved the way for many in my family who wanted to pursue traditionally male careers, encouraging them to chase their dreams and show the world that women are powerful, too.
What would a 10-page letter from your Grade 9 self look like? While our keyboard-exhausted fingers could barely even pen more than 15 holiday cards this year, it's amazing to think that once upon a t...