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Everyone has people they look up to. It could be someone you've known all your life, like a friend, an aunt or a sister. For me, it's the ones I bump into in my everyday life -- complete strangers who are so full of happiness. In life, I always try to be kind, but kindness doesn't mean you have to hide what you think. You really need to learn that you can be kind while still having your own opinion.
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.
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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."
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Many Canadians gave online to the ACLU to help overturn the Trump administration's de facto ban on travellers coming from several Muslim-majority countries. The unexpected effect of globalization is citizens feel empowered to act and comment on the actions of another country.
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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.
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Christmastime can bring quite a lot of gift-giving angst for many. Whether you have a receiver who says "I really don't need anything this year" or you are just stuck for ideas, it can be hard to shop for all the people on your list.
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For millions of children around the world, life can be a daily struggle. From managing a disability, to overcoming cyberbullying, to escaping conflict, children face challenges many adults couldn't even imagine. But the lucky ones don't have to go through it alone. Meet five sets of friends who remind us what giving truly means.
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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 can feel the shift happening in our family, the shift from it being all about us being together and caring about one another, to Christmas being about caring for others as well. I think this most accurately reflects the true spirit of Christmas, whether we are Christian or not.
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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.
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I've heard it said that "it's better to give than receive," and I've always joked that that couldn't possibly be true. Yes, I give. I give generously, but I have never experienced such an incredible joy from making someone feel special for a few hours.
There is much commonality between religions in urging us to overcome our attachments to money, property and the material, to give generously of ourselves in as many ways as possible, and to realize that nothing is ours. In many ways, it's a call to overcome our selfish nature and to realize our deep interconnectedness with each other and all of creation.
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Whether it's a simple letter from my husband saying all the things he knows I'd love to hear or a brand new food processor -- thoughtful gifts are ones that say, "You are someone special to me, I have gotten to know you, I want to make your life better with the ability to make beet hummus."
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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.
Holidays are truly a time of giving in Canada. And this year thousands of businesses, communities and individuals from coast to coast will join together on GivingTuesday (December 1st) for the official opening of the holiday giving season.
If you were taken away tomorrow, what do you think your legacy would be? Most of us, it seems, are happy to wait and hear what our eulogist thinks our legacies are. A little late, don'tcha think? I think it's time to lighten up the legacy conversation by creating and enjoying a variety of legacies that you can enjoy now!
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.
As a professional fundraiser in my community, the number one challenge, and opportunity, is how to engage this new group of donors and volunteers to help support the hundreds of charitable organizations in our community.
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People would pitch us whatever awesome thing they would do with money. Whoever won, would get the entire pot of cash, no strings attached. Awesome Shit Club was born. I thought that since our beer consumption encouraged the name and concept that the event would die or at least stay underground, but it's had the opposite effect.
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Just as the lights, the decorations, and the overall glow of the season offer a breath of fresh air against the dull weather outside. So too do our favourite brands -- if they make an effort to stick out.
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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.
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The word consumer often calls to mind the idea of consumerism, which gets a pretty bad rap. Consumerism can lead to unbridled consumption, with its complete disregard for environmental depletion and the impact on anyone who dares to stand in its way. What does a contemplative approach to consumption look like?
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Let me fill you in on a secret: It's because you are too busy focusing on you, your company and your brand. You. You. More you. Forget about yourself for a second. Focus on the scintillating stars around you. They are gorgeous, captivating and brilliant! There is so much to discover. It is there waiting, just like you. All you have to do is open years eyes, click and share.
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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.
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As an adolescent psychiatrist, I've treated countless patients who have achieved their cherished external goals, such as acceptance into a dance academy, sports team, or college of "their choice"-- but whose lives are utterly devoid of internal joy. Your role as a parent has a major impact on your child's understanding of the word gratitude.
Family holidays can provide great learning opportunities for children, all without a book or classroom insight! Exposure to diverse cultures, picturesque scenery, fun activities and people can teach kid's valuable life lessons and broaden their horizons...sometimes without them even knowing it.
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I hope my children are learning to enjoy giving as much as I do. When they get the package, they'll wonder, What is this? Why am I getting a package? Who sent it? I want other people to feel the way I felt.
Last year was the first-ever Happiness Day, and we heard plentiful advice on how to make ourselves happy. But if we want to maximize our planet's sum total of happiness, it would seem most efficient to share the fortune we have -- material, emotional and spiritual -- with those who have little.
Have you ever read The 5 Love Languages ? It is an interesting book, and one that can help you better understand your partner and other important relationships in your life. I believe in building your business relationships, that you also have to tap into the same languages.
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It's important to be mindful when you give. Next time you attend a function where people ask for a donation for charity don't reach for the minute rice or the wax beans that you know you're not going to eat -- reach for your favourite tin of soup, or a jug of real juice or some healthy pasta, and consider how much MORE receiving that kind of generosity will mean to someone who does need the help.
This month, the Ontario Association of Food Banks released their annual Hunger Report, highlighting the prevalence of food bank use and the need for emergency food services in this province. This past March, 375,789 Ontarians accessed a food bank. As you finish up your holiday shopping, please remember that there are so many Canadians going without this festive season.
Giving detaches us from our obsessive thinking about ourselves. It breaks down loneliness by creating a human connection. Giving and happiness feed one another -- both are intertwined. Giving to others is a gift to yourself.