At 11.05am on Monday October 14th, I was sitting on a sandstone ledge, enjoying the desert views on Getaway Trail, just outside of Moab, Utah. I had just completed 18 kms on Stage three of the TransRockies Moab Rocks mountain bike race. More significantly, I had hit the 888 kms target I had set for Quest #8, TransRockies Quest 888.
One of my favourite shows this summer has been Bear Grylls "Get Out Alive". Bear is a British adventurer, ex SAS member and youngest ever Chief Scout. In "Get Out Alive", Bear took ten teams of two to New Zealand. There, they had to endure many physical and mental tests, including being dropped into a freezing lake from a helicopter, crossing a gorge on a rope, traversing a glacier full of crevasses, building a raft and riding it down a raging river. The winning team collected $500,000.
As a young man, one of my greatest pleasures was hitting a winding road in a two-seater, open-top sports car. On Sunday September 15th., I volunteered at the Cochrane Classic Car Show and Shine and, seeing some of the wonderful vehicles which took part, certainly took me back to the days of my youth. Ken Hutchinson, President of the Cochrane Classic Car Group, asked if I could get some volunteers, who regularly represent Right To Play to help out.
On August 12th I was flying into Denver and still feeling the effects of the four-day Transrockies Challenge. I had got pretty beaten up, riding my mountain bike, navigating trail sections between Blairmore and Canmore. It had been just over a week since it was completed and the cuts and bruises were starting to heal.
So far, in TransRockies Quest 888, I have completed three events, the Skirt chaser 5km, the Fernie 80km Trail Ultra and the Kananaskis3 three day 76km Trail Ultra. On Saturday July 13th, it was a change of pace, The TransRockies Gran Fondo. Firstly, a little bit of background on what a Gran Fondo entails. These races are mass-participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are gaining momentum in North America.
Kananaskis3 was event number four in my TransRockies Quest 888. The original plan was to run three events over three days in the Powderface / Little Elbow area of Kananaskis just outside Bragg Creek. Unfortunately, the Alberta floods put an end to that. Bragg Creek had been hit hard, the bridge on Highway 66 had been destroyed and many of the trails had been wiped out.
TransRockies Quest 888 is number 8 in my "Quests for Kids" initiative. My objective is to complete 888 race kms over 10 events from May to October and raise $25,000 for Right To Play. It's been a rocky start. The first event, in May, was the Skirt Chaser 5km. More people wanted to talk about the race name than the fact that 120 women and 40 men were actually doing something to keep fit. Event 2 was Rundle's Revenge, planned for June 22nd and 23rd. This trail run / mountain bike challenge was to be held at the Canmore Nordic Centre. However, the Alberta floods put an end to that. Up until this weekend I had completed 5 kms and had 883 kms to go.
The memories of my mother are not of a cancer victim, they are not of a shaved head, or intravenous tubes, or a frail body. They are her wonderful spirit, her brave beautiful smile, and a loving acceptance of life that was contagious with everyone she touched. My mother didn't just talk the talk, she walked the walk.
The non-profit organization, just like the technology start-up with a disruptive, yet unproven, new innovation, must sell its vision as much as its financial model and its metrics for measuring impact. But by reducing organizational survival to a simple sales-pitch ignores the fundamental truth that not all organizations are created equally.
We're two days in -- how many New Year's resolutions have you already snapped in two? At the start of our calendar year there's a lot of pressure to "be a better person," which usually means "look like a better person." We propose an alternative that is scientifically proven to make you better: resolve to make the world a better place. Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
When we asked Grammy-winning Canadian singer Nelly Furtado to travel with us to Kenya a few years back, we had no idea it would lead to an amazing friendship. Now an ambassador for Free The Children, she launched a matching fund to support the construction of a new all girls' high school in rural Kenya.
OneRepublic, the pop-rock quintet from Denver, Colorado, has been together since 2002, since they were in high school, or in the band's words, "since forever." They finish each other's sentences like siblings and cite each other as role models. We caught up with Drew Brown, Eddie Fisher and Brent Kutzle at We Day Vancouver last month.
For many, the word itself is precious, off-putting, out-of-date. "Philanthropy." What is it about? It conjures up the image of an old aristocrat, living amongst dusty paintings, classic sculptures and Louis XIV-period furniture. These days however, across the world, philanthropy finds itself at the heart of a young, technological and urban revolution.
As a final tribute to this Canadian icon, let's demonstrate the power of the penny and make the wishes of so many around the world come true: let's collect enough pennies to provide clean water for life for 100,000 people. Just $25 in pennies provides a permanent source of clean water for a person in a developing country.
Many things are written and said about the oil sands, and one of the allegations frequently made is that the oil derived from the naturally occurring bitumen is "dirty", tainted with the stain of environmental destruction. While that debate rages on one rarely hears about what happens to some of the money generated by that so-called "dirty" oil. One may hear about corporate profits, and royalties, and high salaries - but one very rarely hears about philanthropy.
FINCA empowers the poor and allows them to develop small businesses as they see fit, whether it be weaving, selling produce, woodworking, baking or any other trade. They understand the only way to truly combat poverty is to provide sustainable work--because without a steady income, things like an education, or proper medical care are not options.
It's truly inspiring to witness the many philanthropists and social entrepreneurs creating change in the world. Many of us dream of such a thing but wouldn't know where to start and may not even feel deserving of doing such a thing. As Founder of End Sex Trafficking Day, I am only one example of how one voice and one idea can make a difference in the world. Your passion can lead you to do big things, here is how...
Aid and development are deeply complex and there are no easy answers. The physical donations of goods, be it food or clothes, often have negative impacts on the local economy. It would be far better for aid organizations to buy products locally. Aid shouldn't be about making North Americans comfortable with a culture of mass consumption and waste. It has to be actually making the lives of people in the recipient country better.