My Story

Day 302: Stand Up for What You Believe In – Even if it Means Standing Alone

What Do You Believe?

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you had to make a choice to do something to help another person or did you walk the other way?

There are times in our life when we are given the opportunity to stop and stand up for another human being.

I had a chance to stand up for a family and it was one of my proudest ways to give.

Day 302: Give 302

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  ~Mother Teresa

I have said this often – I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world – Vancouver, BC. My son and I were enjoying a beautiful day down our our ocean front park running and playing in a big open grassy field. People come from all over the city to spend afternoons with their family to having large picnics, enjoying the surf and the sun.

My son and I were playing near a family setting up for a large picnic.  I heard a man speaking in a rude fashion to the family. They had reserved a special picnic area that had built in BBQ’s, a cover and picnic tables so they were able to host their entire family for a fun day in the park. They had respectfully asked the man to not sit in this area as they were expecting more guests. The man took offence to being asked to move along and started speaking in an abusive manner. His language was so rude I am not able to repeat his harsh words it in this post. His behaviour quickly turned from not only abusive but included many rude racial comments. Sentences like ” You are not welcome in our country.” ” Speak English” “We don’t want you here” started coming out of his mouth for the entire park to hear.

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.  ~Sydney Smith

The family was Persian. Their culture makes up a wonderful part of our community in West Vancouver. The family didn’t know how to react as the man was so abusive he could have become violent at any moment. My son asked me what was wrong with the man and I just could not stand by and watch without doing something to help.

I approached the man from a safe distance and told him to keep his thoughts and words to himself as I didn’t want my 3 year old son to hear or learn from his disgusting behaviour. I was not abusive but I was also not friendly. The man instantly lashed back at me with his words calling me names that I would never repeat in my life. It was at that point I would not put up with anyone abusing me or anyone else.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  ~Winston Churchill

I stood up to this man in a way I didn’t even know I had in me. I strongly believe that people who feel a need to bring others down with their mouths do not have the courage to stand up when someone stands up to them. I promptly told him he was not welcome in our neighbourhood and I would be calling the police to have him removed. He quickly backed down from my stand and removed himself.

How to Teach Your Child Big Life LessonsMy son was now at my heels asking me what I was doing. I had to explain my actions to my  3 year old so he could learn from the unfortunate incident. These are the lessons I taught him:

1) When someone needs help you don’t walk away –  you stop and help.

2) Believe you can make a difference by helping another human being.

3) Stand up for what you believe in and use your voice to change the world.

4) Call the police whenever you need help. They are there to support and give back to the community to keep it safe for everyone.

I could have easily walked away with my son but I didn’t. I believed what the man was doing was wrong and he was scaring people in my own community. Someone had to tell him what he was doing was wrong and his racial views were wrong and damaging. Was I scared? A little but I had to stand up for what I thought was right. What was I teaching my son if I didn’t stop to help the family and give back to them in a way that no one else was willing to do.

Do you have a story to share similar to mine? A moment in your life when you stood up for another human, an animal or the planet. Leave us a comment so others will be inspired to have the courage to change the world. 

Time Commitment: 5 minutes

Day 301: What is Giving?

Hillside enjoying the sounds of musicWhat really defines giving? Is it a Wikipedia definition we search on Google? It is donating millions of dollars to one organization in hopes to create the change in the world you want to see? Or is it as simple as one small action, one small gesture, or participating as a community to bring people together to create change.

This give did just that – it brought a community together to enjoy life and create change for people around the world and the planet.

Day 301: Give 301

The 28th annual Hillside Music Festival is the place to be every 3rd weekend in July in Ontario. The Hillside Team does a 3 day music festival for 3 reasons:

1)Love

2) Peace

3) Planet

Just when I thought I was going for the music I realized this weekend was so much more than just a music festival. I was giving back in more ways than I could count.

There are a list of initiatives that Hillside has taken to help give back to the community as well as the planet. Just by attending the event our family gave back in so many ways:

1)      Supporting musicians from all over the world

2)      Recycling, Reusing, Reduce

3)      Planting Trees

4)      Supports Charitable Organizations both local and foreign (Meal ExchangeBracelet of HopeCommunity Torchlight, Habitat for Humanity) the list goes on Giving to Hope to  AIDS / HIV in Africa

5)      Solar Powered / Living Roof Main Stage

Over the past 20 years Hillside has calculated through their green initiatives they have saved over 410 tonnes of C02. (Equal to 80 cars taken off the road for 1 year)

Here are a few ideas any corporate or fundraising event could embrace to save of massive amounts of waste. Environmental reduction to help save the planet

1)      Volunteers washing all the dishes, cutleries and glassware used over the course of the weekend.

2)      Water Tanker providing fresh drinking water so bottled water does not have to be purchased by guests

3)      Shuttle Buses to encourage less driving

4)      Meatless Meals provided by food vendors

5)      Tree Planting (partnering with the Green Legacy Programme)

6)      Educational Classes on all things sustainable and the environemnt

Other than the tree planting we participated in all these ways plus a few of our own.

1)      We camped rather than staying at a hotel saving on a weekend of electricity.

2)      We drove our fuel efficient rental car to the Festival.

3)      We brought our own reusable beer mugs (from Vancouver) from previous year’s attendance. (You could buy a new one that was made from corn!)

I felt great attending an event that was giving so much. What if ever event took the time and thought that Hillside has to help the planet, educate and entertain! Have you been to an event this summer that creates change in the world. Leave us a comment and tell us about the event you attended. 

Time Commitment: 2 days of nothing but great music and fun in the sun

Cost:  $40 day pass to $110 for a 3 day weekend pass

Day 300: How to Change the World with Just a Tweet

If you had asked me on Day 1 what Day 300 of 365 Days of giving would look like I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question. Now I am here and the official countdown begins to the final day of giving. I will tell you one thing about giving every day – it feels GREAT! Just knowing I will accomplish this mission and I have been able to reach out to so many people is enough the get the celebration under way.

What better way to celebrate than to dance? Here is a little something created by two students that have a passion for children in Africa. 

Day 300: Give 300

 

On Day 262 I did a post on an organization called Building Tomorrow. The post featured a student intern named Claire. Claire is working with the Building Tomorrow team, learning all there is to know about the challenges in Africa and the challenges of being a not-for-profit organization.

The above video featured Claire and her co-worker Estelle as they have taken their passion for kids, education and Uganda and created a very fun video to help bring awareness to Building Tomorrow. This is “Gen Y” in action in their own unique way. They don’t have money to give but they are creative, innovative and committed. I have said it before but Gen Y is the generation that will change the world.

Today my give is to help bring awareness to their Twitter Campaign. They have a simple goal and we can all help. 10,000 Twitter Followers for Build Tomorrow before the end of their internship at the end of the summer. If you are in the not for profit world you know awareness is half the battle. The big goal is to get the attention of Ellen Degeneres as they go on this Twitterfest. They understand the impact celebrity can make on an organization and I give them big kudos for putting themselves out there to try and get the attention for an organization they feel so passionate about.

Here is how we can all help.

1) Follow them on Twitter.(@BldgTomorrow)

2) RT this post and make sure you include Ellen (@TheEllenShow). She will have to take notice if she get inundated with tweets.

3) Join the Tweetathon #BTweetathon. The party begins tomorrow -August 2, 2011 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm tweet, tweet and tweet some more. 

I am Building Tomorrow ImageBuilding Tomorrow has a simple mission – they are encouraging philanthropy among young people by raising awareness and funds to build and support educational infrastructure projects for underserved children throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

We know the children in Africa need our support, care and love and we now have the chance to show the next generation we support their philanthropic endeavours. Do your give of the day in just a few easy clicks. Click to Follow @BldgTomorrow, favourite their video on You Tube and in just 140 characters send Ellen a quick note.

I may be my Day 300 of giving but it`s never to late to start giving. Make today your Day 1 of giving every day and show the children of Africa you care.

Time Commitment: 3 minutes of Twittering

Cost: 0

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