Every once in a while, the small and insignificant problems in my life put me in a funk. Nothing that a few chats with friends can’t fix. I mean, in the large scheme of things, getting my credit card cancelled (due to charity donations, post coming), isn’t important. However, this week, I got an extra boost when I attended a local, annual charity event.
United Way Ottawa Community Awards Gala
For three hours, I was surrounded by people interested in supporting others in need and celebrating those that give a portion of their lives to do just that. Some charities and people that were publicly recognized were;
- Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa*,
- Ottawa for for Success* for “Belonging to Community Award”,
- Paige Thurlbeck, the youngest recipient who started Paige’s Ponytails in 2010 and since that time has raised $25,000 by donating her hair for charity and,
- Cindy Simpson from Youville Centre* for the “Growing up Great” Award,
- Jonathan Pitre* who introduced Bryan Murray, Recipient of the Community Builder of the Year award.
But there was even more to the night than just awards.
- The highlighted charity for the evening was Russell Heights Community House Summer Achievement Gap program. The aims to reduce the literacy gap for at-risk youth. When the evening was done, $13,860 had been raised that will benefit 77 kids in the program.
- Sarah** gave us the first glance at the United Way buttons for this years Ottawa Gay Pride Parade & Festival scheduled to take place August 14 to 23, 2015.
- During the event, I walked around “table-bombing” in the search of finding charities that are in need of my support. I met;
- Terry from supports The Men’s Project* is a non-profit charitable men’s counselling agency that has been providing services to men and their families since 1997. He informed me that they have lost funding and may have to close their doors,
- Adam who donates his time to Shepherds of Good Hope,
- Sara from Russell Heights Community House (the group I mentioned in #1 above).
- I was fortunate to sit at a table with some new faces; Amy, Sarah, Simon, Liliane as well as some familiar faces in Sherrie-Mae at Good Karma Baby, Amanda from Maven of Mayhem and Sarah from It’s All About Me.
- And last but not least, the food was incredible. So much so that I ate 2.5 appetizers and 4 buns (which I thought was dinner), then, when dinner actually came, I ate an additional 2 buns (which I got from other tables until Sherrie-Mae got more for our table) and a chocolate mousse dessert. But that wasn’t all. The servers thought that a person with nut allergies was at our table so they kept coming over offering us a delicious fresh fruit option. I didn’t eat one (at the time), because I wouldn’t have taken food from someone that needed it. However, by the end of the night, there were extras so (unprompted), one of the servers brought one over for me. Either because he thought that I was hungry, he was just that kind, I was very passionate about how much I’d love one or a mixture of all three. I’m pretty sure that this was a case of “you had to be there” but if you’d like to see each of the 3.5 courses, email me and I’ll send you (half eaten) pictures of them all.
How Do You Eat an Elephant?
Over the years, I’ve felt overwhelmed when thinking about how I could make a difference in the world. I saw people saving lives in other continents, building homes for those without and donating their hard earned salaries. Given my life, they all seemed unattainable to me. Then I remembered a question that I heard a long time ago, How do you eat an elephant? And then I remembered… one bite at a time.
So that’s why I started a personal charity campaign called Changing the World — One Dollar a Day #1DollarADay. Perhaps this post includes a charity that resonates with you or maybe there is one out of the 365 that will be listed in my charity post. No matter where you find your inspiration, remember, you can make a difference.
How Do You Put Life in Perspective?
— Journeys of The Zoo (@zoojourneys) June 1, 2015
*Note that all these organizations support online donations. We will be making a contribution to them as part of our Changing the World — One Dollar a Day #1DollarADay campaign.
**Sarah works for United Way and also blogs about a menagerie of interesting and heartfelt topics over at It’s All About Me. It was Sarah that invited me to this and the previous United Way Charity Event.