24.1.12

The Heart of our giving City


When I moved to Calgary 17 years ago now, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into.  All I knew about this Western town was that in the summer during the Calgary Stampede everyone wears cowboy hats and cowboy boots.  17 years later, that hasn't changed, but what I have learned is, this is a big city with a HUGE heart.

I've lost count on how many times this city has come together to help those in need.  From the more serious circumstances like the Drop In Centre, to helping those who suddenly need assistance like a house fire, or a sudden illness.  There are all kinds of organizations throughout the city that can lend a helping hand.  But what keeps those organizations going, is people like you, a volunteer.  You are the HEART of this city.

The amount of time it takes to volunteer is up to you.  You decide where you would like to donate your valuable time, and how much of it you have to give.  Volunteering can be a lifetime commitment, to a couple of hours.  It all depends on you.

Some of the organizations that are near and dear to my heart are Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary, The MS Society, Made By Momma, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.  Each hold a special place with me because they've affected my life.

With Big Brothers Big Sisters, I was an in school mentor to a wonderful little girl.  Think back to when you were a child.  Was there someone who made you feel extra special?  An aunt, a grandparent or just a great neighbour?  What Big Brothers Big Sisters does is help children be reminded that they are important.  Being a mentor for a "Little" is about sharing time: playing catch, reading a book, or in my case making fun crafts with a child.  Big Brothers Big Sisters will match you with a young person who has common interests.  Someone who will work out with your location and time considerations.  Which is why the in school mentoring worked best for the time I had available to donate. If you are interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters, go to their website for more information http://www.bbbscalgary.com.

Last year I saw a posting on twitter from The MS Society in Calgary.  They were looking for volunteer photographers to help out with their annual walk.  A little light bulb went off for me.  1.) I love to take pictures, 2.) I've been wanting to help out with the MS Society for some time now.  Perfect opportunity for me!  What a great bunch of people who are all working towards understanding and coping with MS. 4 years ago my older brother was diagnosed with MS.  Seeing his quality of life deteriorate so quickly has been hard to watch.  My brother is 41 now, and copes with new challenges everyday.  I remember a time, not that long ago, when my brother was an extreme downhill skier, impressing everyone in the Alberta Rockies with his skills.  The opportunity to volunteer with the MS Society was a blessing to me.  There are countless volunteer opportunities with the MS Society, to find out more visit http://mssociety.ca/chapters/calgary/

After being introduced to Made By Momma, by Role Mothers last fall, I knew I found another way to give back.  Being a mother of two small children, Made By Momma touched my heart.  Their mission is simple.  To provide wholesome nourishment and nurturing care to mothers and young children.  Made by Momma is always looking for women with kind, generous hearts to help out!  They know that women are multi-talented and whatever your "gift" from preparing meals, baking, knitting, artwork, dog walking or providing support, you will be a welcome addition to their care team.  To see more about Made By Momma, visit http://madebymomma.org

And the Canadian Mental Health.  This is a big one for me.  Another one of my brothers lived the everyday challenge of Mental Health.  Jamie passed away 4 1/2 years ago now.  It was a long journey for him.  Everyday was a new day and a new challenge.  Even though I have never actually "volunteered" with this outstanding organization, I have made it my priority to get the word out about this group by means of radio and blog.  There are several ways to give back to the Canadian Mental Health, for more on what you can do, visit http://www.cmha.calgary.ab.ca/


These are just a few of the amazing organizations in our beautiful city.  Where everyone comes together to make the lives of others Brighter!  Thank you Calgary!  For even more volunteer opportunities visit Volunteer Calgary http://www.volunteercalgary.ab.ca/

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