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.
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.
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.
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.