As a 26-year-old business professional I face very typical problems on a day to day basis, ones that many of you may face. I have to deal with traffic, I have to find parking in downtown Toronto, I have to deal with deadlines. But it wasn't that long ago that any of these trivial issues were not a concern to me as my only burden was finding my next meal. For two years I battled homelessness and my hope was dependant on youth homes and the kindness of strangers.
Author Joan Walker and Canadian country superstar Michelle Wright have something in common: in the midst of busy lives in the public eye, both women volunteer with World Vision Canada. Joan's recent conversation with Michelle sheds light on many aspects of the world renowned singer-songwriter's life, including her deep love for children overseas in desperate need.
It must be fall, bringing with it Thanksgiving. This October, however, more than 16,000 families in Ontario will have no other choice but to visit a food bank for the first time in their entire lives. And while the idea of turkey dinner with all the trimmings certainly sounds delicious, for over 375,000 adults and children, it is simply not the reality of the season.
Each year, 50 per cent of charitable giving through CanadaHelps happens in December, equating to $35 million in donations to worthy causes. December 31 is the most popular day of giving, with $3.6 million donated on this day alone. Some individuals have a charity which they donate to year after year; others vary their charitable giving among an array of organizations. So what do people need to consider before deciding which charity to share their goodwill with this year?
Whether you're a billionaire, a small business owner, a student, or a retiree, I hope that you will make it a New Year's resolution to volunteer in your community. I can promise you that the personal benefits will be at least as great, and probably more long-lasting, than giving up chocolate or joining a gym!
The idea that you are a singular, impermeable being is totally bogus. The choices you make impact more than just you. Whether you see it now, later or never, all of your actions have consequences -- some insignificant, some wondrous and some dire. Everyday, you should -- we all should -- try harder to be better.
I often said to myself, when I retire, this is something that I really want to do. And then one day, I thought "what the heck am I waiting for? I could do this right now." So, almost 20 years after my own daughter's hospital stay, I was accepted to be a volunteer "baby hugger." And I am quite sure that I get far more than I give.
Cody Simpson is not your stereotypical teen star -- self-entitled or shrouded in scandal. Cody is thoughtful and genuine. Even after his rise to super pop stardom, 3.4 million Twitter followers and a sold-out "Welcome to Paradise" headline tour, Cody still travels with his Dad -- he is, after all, just 15 years old.
Most people feel something missing in their lives. So, how do we bring meaning into our lives? How do we begin to feel truly alive? Do something crazy! Help someone else. Choose to make one small positive change in the world. When we start thinking about helping others, we raise not only their hopes but our own heart vibrations. Our hearts rise up beyond the petty slights and missteps of daily life and begin to focus on a bigger picture.
The question we hear most frequently from people ready to make a difference is: "Where do I begin?" In our contributions to Impact, we'll tackle some of these questions, using our experience working with communities in Canada and all regions of the world, and in the context of news that's happening right now. This new online community has the potential to bring us together and start making the news instead of just reading it.
We fuelled a belief in our capitalist society that you can't make a profit without harming the world -- and that the only people who can do good for our world don't make a profit. "Giving back" has become one of the most fashionable lines -- as if to imply that we really must have stolen something as we were making a profit!