Volume 3, Issue 4, April 2004
Two great things have happened to me since the last newsletter. One, I have been nominated as the NDP Candidate for the next federal election for the St. Catharines riding. And, two, I have been nominated for a volunteer appreciation award for the city of St. Catharines . This leads me to the topic of this Caravan.
Ever since I can remember I have been involved. I have never been one to sit on the side lines. Sometimes it leads to a very hectic day and sometimes when I have to deal with what seems like an overabundance of 2% activity, it can be hard to handle. But on the whole, getting involved is well worth the hassle.
When I talk about getting involved I mean volunteering…putting your hand up…stepping forward…joining the team…serving on the board…giving a hand.
I have to say that being involved has opened up many doors that would normally have been closed to me. Situations have presented themselves that have allowed me to see the world, meet and mingle with the most interesting people and get into places many people only dream about.
By getting involved you can give back to your community and your profession. Giving back is not about getting recognition…that’s phony…giving back is about helping others reach their goals and their potential. People who are doers are not takers. They give from the heart. They give because they care.
When you get involved you are able to be part of history. You can help shape society and you contribute to the well-being of many. Let me give you some examples of how you can get involved.
1-Volunteer for a not-for-profit organization.
2-Volunteer for your professional association.
3-Volunteer for a city committee.
4-Offer to be a part of a fundraising committee.
5-Help the needy.
6-Give your time to an elderly person as a companion.
7-Join a team or recreational club.
8-Give a neighbour a hand with a project.
9-Read to someone who can’t.
10-Be a part of the political process.
11-Get involved in your church, synagogue, mosque or temple.
I am sure you can think of many other ways that you can get involved.
Because of my years of involvement, I have met many people who have become long time friends and colleagues. I can’t begin to count the number of people who have touched my life and from whom I have learned much. Every time I have an interaction with someone while getting involved, I learn. And when I learn I grow and when I grow, I become more and more at peace.
Getting involved is living life to the fullest. I can honestly say that if I were to meet my end tomorrow, I would have no regrets. Life has been good to me because I have been good to life.
Many of us wonder if we are successful in this life. We often measure that success by the things we accumulate, not by our deeds. Too many of us are caught up in material things. I know that if I wanted to, I could have accumulated more wealth, but because I get involved, I have wealth that goes way beyond dollars or things. I have experiences, friends, connections and memories that make me far richer than material things.
I will leave you with this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that tells it all...
That a person is a success, who has lived well, laughed often and loved much...who gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of children...who has filled their niche and accomplished the task: who leaves the world a better place than they found it. Whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul...who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty...or failed to express it; who always looks for the best in others and GIVES THE BEST THEY HAVE!!!
Robert Louis Stevenson
Best in Life
“Get involved and you will have riches beyond your imagination.”
I have a project or mission for anyone willing to participate…
Place a jar in your kitchen and write FOOD BANK on it. Every time you throw away food - leftovers, something spoiled, etc. - put money in the jar (as much as you want) and at the end of the year donate it to the food bank. Not only will this help the people in need of the donation but it will also open your eyes to how much food we all waste every week. Let’s not forget how many things in this world that we take for granted like the basics of food, clothing and shelter that many people don’t have the luxury of having.
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