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Yesterday, I started my special 5 part “Great Mom’s that Give” series in honour of Mother’s Day with super star Mother, Sarah McLachan. Not every mother is a rock star nor has the ability to set up a personal Foundation but it doesn’t mean we don’t all have the ability to do something in our busy lives. This next Mom happens to be my sister-in-law. She wanted to send me a guest post as she had consciously been trying to give more in her life. Her post came timely this week and I wanted to share it. Cat is like me, the every day Mom. She has two young kids, she works and tries to do it all every day. There are times we can give more and times we cannot but we can all find some time to give. This is a great idea for many of us already with children. Truly a gift to give another parent!
Day 216: Give 216 by Catherine Vaugh
Hello GIVE enthusiasts! Thanks to Jacqueline’s blog, I have been inspired to have more charity and giving in my life. Here is my GIVE story to share with all of you.
My husband and I recently re-located to London, Ontario from my hometown of Barrie, Ontario. Much of my family still live in Barrie so I am still deeply rooted and connected with my hometown and the people I love that are there. In April 2010, my Aunt Ange was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and was scheduled to have the significant growth removed the first week of May. My Aunt is only 40 years old, is a stay at home of three young children, and I knew she would have a tough road ahead of her. I felt helpless as I was 6 months pregnant, a mother to a 16 month old boy, trying to sell our home in Barrie, and working to physically and mentally prepare for our move to London. There wasn’t much I was able to do for her with my own chaos to be managed, but I vowed to myself then that I would do everything in my power to help later on.
My Aunt Ange endured two major surgeries and five months of chemotherapy and was declared cancer free in February of this year. When we got the call about Ange being cancer free, we were thrilled. Most people would think that now the cancer drama was over with, there is no need to help them now. However, I have never been more compelled to assist them. My GIVE is the gift of re-connecting. When a couple is enduring a serious illness, you do what you need to do to survive. You put your head down and push through to get to the other side, which is exactly what my aunt and uncle did. They had lots of help from their friends and family from the time Aunt Ange was diagnosed up until she was declared cancer free. Now it is my turn to step in to provide them with the one thing that was threatened – time together with each other! This weekend, my aunt and uncle are dropping the kids off in London to spend Saturday night with me and my family. Chris and Ange will then depart to attend a concert for one my Aunt Ange’s favourite bands, have a good meal and a good night’s sleep in a fancy hotel. 24 hours – just the two of them – spending time together, re-connecting. It is the perfect GIVE for them.
I have lots of fun activities planned for my full house this weekend – a hike on the Thames River trail, make-your-own-pizza dinner, and a mini-soccer game in my back yard. Not only do I get to GIVE my aunt and uncle a chance to re-connect, I am getting a chance to re-connect with my cousins too.
Financial Cost = $0 (nothing extra spent as I have to buy groceries anyways, right?)
Time Spent = 24 hours
Re-connecting = PRICELESS!
Just a week ago I was nominated as one of the top 30 Vancouver Mom’s Fabulous Bloggers, which could have me win the Vancouver Fabulous Mom Blog Award! I was amazed to be placed alongside a group of women that are not only great bloggers but are sharing great information.
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Thank you so much for your support and helping me change the world one day at a time.
Happy Mother’s Day …almost.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner (May 8th) I wanted to take a week to honour great Mom’s that are doing amazing things to change the world in their own unique way. Being a Mom is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is a 24/7 job and that doesn’t include all the other things Mom’s do in a day to keep the family unit running smoothly. We are head chef, in house cleaning ladies, chauffeurs, soccer players, teachers, accountants and the list goes on. Many of us work on top of all of this and do so many things to give back to the world. I will be featuring Mom’s that give in many different ways, donations, use their skills and expertise, volunteer or just do what they can on any given day, not only give their families but other important and worthy causes.
I think you will know my first great Mom as she happens to be a celebrity. Her celebrity, her music is what she does for a living but in her heart, she is a Mom first. Sarah McLachlan.
Day 215: Give 215
I was inspired to do a feature on Sarah as I attended her concert on Sunday night. She is a local Vancouverite and lives not far from me. I went to go see my first “Sarah” concert just a year and a half ago. The concert was within walking distance of my house and was a fundraiser for her foundation, The Sarah McLachlan Foundation. She headlined with Sheryl Crow and Neil Young. It was an amazing show that I will remember for years to come. The one thing that I loved about Sarah’s concert besides her music, was her honesty. She talked to the audience like we were sitting in her living room. One specific comment stuck with me. She was preparing to sing her next song and she made a joke that she needed her sheet music as she couldn’t remember the lyrics due to “Mommy Brain”. Now not everyone will get this but if you are a Mom you know how this feels. My son was just 18 months at the time and I was completely suffering from “Mommy Brain.” I still have my days and he’s 3! Somewhere between sleep deprivation and organizing every detail of a child’s day leaves little brain space for much else. You forget everything. I connected with Sarah at that moment in a way that was unique. She may be Sarah McLachlan “super star” but she was also a Mom and she was taking the time in her life to raise money that supports a cause that is near and dear to her heart.
I have taken a quote directly from the foundation so you can see the great work that is accomplishing with music and children.
“The Sarah McLachlan Foundation sole mandate is to support and expand our music outreach program (SMMO), and to continue to celebrate the achievements of our students. Most kids in inner-city schools do not have access to music education, and many students cannot afford to learn music in an after-school setting. In 2002, The Sarah McLachlan Foundation opened its first free music school, the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach, reaching youth in the under-served communities of Vancouver. ”
Sarah has a passion for children and she comments about the impact music had in her life as a child. It inspired her to open a music program that would help children get music in their lives out side of school. We all know the power music can have on us and to give children the opportunity to learn and experience it that may not otherwise have the opportunity is an impact the will ripple through generations to come.
The Giving Doesn’t Stop
If I actually detailed every philanthropic act Sarah has completed this post would be pages long. I won’t even get started on Lilith Fair. Not did she only raise money for great cause along the way but she set a presidence in the music industry for women. She gave women a chance that no one else would. Truly life changing giving. Wikipedia has a section under her name that is specific to her philanthropic endeavours. The site Look to the Stars: The World of Celebrity Giving, has a complete listing of all the ways Sarah has given back. Millions of dollars and hour and hours of volunteering her time. I was at a small preschool fundaiser last week and Sarah had donated an item to the silent action. Even for a local preschool her daughters do not attend. Sarah may be a “celebrity” and her music has changed and inspired lives around the world, but it is obviously in her heart to give. Thank you Sarah for being a brilliant Mom that gives.
Sarah’s Favourite Charity
I did have a chance to meet Sarah after the concert and I asked her what her favourite charity was. She told me it was Kiva as she liked to support other women around the world by giving them a hand up not a hand out. In honour of Sarah as a Mother, I have made a loan to Kiva to Julienne Nyinawabo. She is a working single Mom trying to expand her restaurant business in Rwanda. She works long days to make ends meet and needs the loan to make a better life for her and her son. It’s all any of us want for our children.
Time Commitment: 5 minutes