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Give and Take?

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*Update after post*  This was part of my personal philosophy on volunteerism as it relates to philanthropy.  I have blurred the lines between the true definitions of donating, volunteering, and fundraising simply because I have a hard time separating these concepts in my own head.  My main goal was to share how important it is for ME to give back to my community.  And how I strive to remain connected and aware of what is happening in my country and the world at large.  This was not meant in any way to be a judgement on those that may not hold philantropy in the same light.

 

National Volunteer Week is approaching.  When someone mentions volunteerism, do you shudder and think, “Ok, what are they going to ask me to do now?”  Or do you think, “Wow, that’s a great idea, how can I help?”  Lets face it, we are all busy.  You might think that your kind of busy is more important than mine, but thats a different topic for another day.

I have been volunteering since the age of 13, at least that’s as far back as I remember.  My first gig was as a volunteer leader for The B&G Club, which was my Church’s co-ed version of  Boy Scouts or Girl Guides.  I had graduated from the program, so was invited to continue on as mentor.  Naturally, being very shy, it was a real challenge for me to try and talk to people.  Having gone through the program myself, it was easy to use my own feelings and experiences as a way to encourage my younger friends.  Volunteerism has become a natural concept to me and continues to be a big part of my life.

There are groups that make constant pleas for donations and volunteers and this can seem like a pain in the rump.  And yes, some organizations do go overboard, trying to evoke guilt to motivate people to give money.  Those that don’t have money to give, tune out, saying “I can’t help.”  I am in this category at times, I won’t deny it.  I like to encourage people by reminding them that giving isn’t exclusive to monetary donations.  You don’t have to make lengthy commitments or join a club either.  Find an issue you are passionate about and determine a way to offer sincere aide.  GIVE: TIME, TALENT, or TREASURE.  It could be as simple as shoveling the driveway of a senior in your neighbourhood, or cleaning out your closet and giving gently used items to a women’s shelter.

I’m going to get nerdy and throw a few stats at you *snort, snort*.

Who do organizations serve?
Seventy-three percent of nonprofit and voluntary organizations provide services or products directly to people (as opposed
to other organizations). These organizations most frequently report serving the general public (46%)(Table 1.3). However,
they also provide services to specific segments of the population. Children and youth are served by 23% of organizations,
the elderly by 11% and persons with disabilities by 8%. Other specific populations served include Aboriginal peoples,
immigrant populations and religious communities.

Cornerstones of Community, Stats Canada Catalogue, 2003

There are many needs in every community that are met by the caring hands of volunteers.  They don’t often get a lot of praise for what they do, but that isn’t what motivates us anyway.  I have benefited from the nurture and guidance given to me by volunteer run programs, as a child, a college student, and now as an adult.  I choose to give because I want to have a positive influence on the issues affecting neighbours in my neck of the woods.  National Volunteer Week is coming soon, thank a Volunteer .

National Volunteer Week is April 10-16, 2011

**photo is from Volunteer Canada site

HUMP DAY SLUMP DAY

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This is the mid-week SLUMP DAY for me.  I was never excited for Wednesday to appear as many other people are.  What is so special about Wednesday?  This is Day 14 of sugar detox for me and I have been lacking the motivation to continue on with this new plan.  I woke up needing a boost of cheer so decided to make a photo gallery of some of my favourite things.  

Number one, I love my family and friends but didn’t get permission to post images of them on this site.  You will have to be my friend on Facebook to see those pics.

So we will have to settle for other things that bring me joy.  Christmas Morning, a smile from my sweet girl, and a blissfully sleeping baby, enough said.

I love being outdoors and don’t give myself enough opportunities to go out.  Walking from car to work, or car to grocery store, to home doesn’t count.  Whether it is walking in the park, sitting on a patio with a cool drink and soaking up the sun, or feeding the ducks, I would rather be there.  Ugh, I just looked out the window and saw that the snow is actually accumulating.  What happened to our brief glimpse of spring?

Let’s find my happy place again…Going to the CNE every summer, and eating TINY TOM DONUTS.  It is an annual tradition, and I can already taste the warm, powdered sugar goodness.

Sitting in a quiet corner of my favourite coffee shop with a book.  I haven’t been able to do this in years, probably since University.  But a girl can daydream right?

Well, I am being snapped out of my revery by a grumpy girly that has oversplept.  I need to shake off this SLUMP DAY mood.  But first I need to climb the mountain of laundry.

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Live the Change You Want to See.

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Well it is Wednesday.  And I am extra late getting a new blog out into cyber space.  I have a few blog drafts saved, but couldn’t decide on one that was appropriate for this mid-week post.  My heart is heavy with the images I see on the news.  Even while having it play in the background, sound turned down, the images of what is happening in JAPAN are so heartbreaking. 

I am BLESSED beyond measure and repent for these things I grumble about; our 20-year-old car,  mis-matched chairs around my 30-year-old table, a TV made in 1977, a minimum wage job, and clothes that are hand-me downs or bought at Value Village

I don’t have a house, but I have a HOME.  My family and friends are scattered around the world but I am LOVED.  I don’t always have much choice in what I eat, but I am NEVER STARVING.  I have HOPE living inside of me. And I don’t live in FEAR because of my gender, religious beliefs, or for expressing my opinions.

Earlier today, I watched a video about A. Krishnan.  CNN paid tribute to him during their HEROES show in February 2011.  He gave up his job as a chef because he saw the desperate conditions of people on the streets .  And began showing compassion to people who are otherwise ignored or forgotten.  It broke my heart wide open and reminded me that I am a millionaire compared to how some people are forced to live.  

Mr. Krishnan you recognized a need for change, so YOU changed.  You are a friend to the friendless, an inspiration, and a hero.  You are right, people don’t only need food to live.  A hug, a place to shower, and kind word can “nourish the mind and heart”.

To view the video that moved me to tears, click on the Link obtained from CNN

Donate:
Canadian Red Cross 
American Red Cross 
 

In the 18th Month of Life My Sweet Girl Gave to Me…

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This speaks for itself...

As I reflect on life post-baby, I recognize that each month of her life has brought new changes.  Sometimes these changes are visible in her development, or personality.  Others are visible in me and my approach to parenthood.  I am often asked “What is your favourite stage?”.  I believe that every age and stage brings it’s own joys and challenges.  Sleep issues have been on the top of our challenge list from the beginning.  The nurses kept telling me her newborn sleep would come soon.  I’m still waiting… I have strived to consciously find the joys in this new challenge.  I fear that the terrible twos have crept into our home, 6 months too soon. 

*sung to the tune of  “12 Days of Christmas”*

In the 18 th month of li-fe my sweet girl gave to meeee.

 Head spinning tantrums, fly-ing fo-od, cab-in fe-ver, days with no shower,

5 slop-py kisses! 

Crayon on the walls, laundry to the ceiling, more general whining, and

bags from the la-ck of sleep.   

I’m not kidding; within four days of her 18 month ‘birthday’ this sweet child has flipped her lid!  And it happened very suddenly.  I put my sweet angel down for a nap as normal, with hugs and kisses offered to me, she snuggled up with her favourite stuffy, and was asleep within 10 minutes of her head laying on the mattress.  I went to work for a few hours while she was still sleeping.  I came home to a tantrum that would rival the head spinning scene in the Exorcist.  The whining, crying, kicking, and screaming continued on throughout the evening, and stretched to bedtime.  Now it was my turn for a tantrum, nothing is allowed to interfere with the precious and oh so fragile bedtime routine.  That routine has been shattered, along with her naptime as well.  As soon as there is even the faintest whiff of bedtime the wailing begins.  It took her an hour to fall asleep this afternoon!  By then it was supposed to be wake up time!  And she isn’t even easy going during the non-sleep routines anymore.  It is as though the extra hours of daylight are fueling her crusty attitude, making it extra crispy in it’s golden rays.

So I am certainly not looking forward to the time change this weekend.  Lose an hour of sleep? Can I opt out please?  I haven’t even set my watches to the correct time for the last three time changes.  I choose to live in my own alternate universe. One where my sweet girl returns to the sleeping angel that was.  And where I don’t need to have 3 cups of coffee to make it to noon.

What used to be