Giving Back

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Moving From I To We As A Family

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.
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Why You Should Volunteer While Travelling

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.
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How You Can Make A Difference In The World

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.
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Why Charities Receive Less During The Summer

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."
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I've Made It Through Another Christmas Without Amanda

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.
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This Christmas, Let's Spend Money On Things That Matter

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.
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For The Man Who Hated Christmas

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.

7 Back to School Tips From a Kid Like You

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.
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How to Be a Successful Giver

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.