Posted on October 20 2020
By Joan Kelley Walker
I was raised in a small town in Saskatchewan where neighbourly acts of kindness were encouraged and there was a sense of support that you could count on in the community. I’m sure it’s like many other small towns, a hometown where people were considerate and helped one another from the goodness of their heart and a caring feeling of duty. Neighbours would rally and offer support when someone was experiencing a hard time. It didn’t have to be heroic, and it didn’t matter how big or small the act was, it was the act of kindness that made the difference for the receiver. Sometimes it was clearing a snowy driveway for someone or preparing a meal and leaving it on their doorstep. This heart and the small ways we all showed our humanity, was a way of life where I come from. This has stayed with me.
I truly feel like we have the responsibility to do something to help others when we can and however we can - even if a gesture- because giving inspires giving!
We’ve seen how acts of kindness and giving bring happiness to the giver and the receiver. It fills the cup that oftentimes reassures each side of the good in humanity. There are many ways you can give back. Many people don't even know where to start and I’ve asked this question and I think how you give depends on where you are in your own life. My approach has evolved over time and gained deeper focus through the intelligent and gracious people I’ve met on this journey. I began as a young girl helping in my community, and recently hit a 20 year milestone as a spokesperson for World Vision Canada’s fundraising. I follow my heart in these matters. I have always felt drawn to get involved with helping children. They are the most vulnerable and when I became a mother my heart opened to all children. When you feel passionate about something. That is an indicator of where to start. Start from the heart.
In this time of crisis, remember the power of community support. No matter where we live or our economic situation, we can offer kindness and service and truly enliven the concept of “In This Together”.
I have witnessed many organizations “think outside the box” and quickly respond to the needs of vulnerable communities in my own neighborhood and across the world due to COVID- 19. Although this has been such a challenging time for so many- it has been encouraging to see how people to come together to give back- everyone is doing their part and this is inspiring. There are so many to mention but I will highlight a few
Breakfast Club of Canada
Before the spread of COVID-19, more than 1 million Canadian children were affected by food insecurity. Now, the current crises is putting even more pressure on the families of these children. Breakfast Club of Canada has created many initiatives to support children usually attending breakfast programs and local community organizations that assist food-insecure children. They have effectively shared this message on Social media with the hashtag #FeedKidsNow and continue to feed Canadian children despite the school closures
For more information or to donate please visit https://www.breakfastclubcanada.org
During the COVID-19 Pandemic thousands of Canadians united to MOVE across Canada ( 6,000 km) virtually. The idea was to motivate people to come together to move for a cause. A donation was made on behalf of everyone involved to go towards water, sanitation and WASH projects to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in one of the most fragile countries in the world - The Democratic Republic of Congo. The Harlem GlobeTrotters were also behind this initiative spreading the good word motivating individuals to join and be apart of the change. This was such an incredible example of how community can make a difference just by coming together. Not everyone is in the financial situation to give back however good things happen when we come together for the common good and with a goal. The result- We MOVED across Canada twice!!! Additional money was raised and awareness was also raised. Canadians made a difference in the lives of many in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
World Vision is responding to the devastating impact of COVID-19 in more than 70 countries. $350 million response aims to reach 72 million people including 36 million children the most vulnerable. Some of the World Vision Emergency response global highlights are
- Scale up preventative measures to limit the spread of COVID-19
- Strengthen Healthcare systems and workers
- Support for Children impacted by COVID-19 through child protection, education, food, security and livelihoods
- Collaborate and advocate to ensure vulnerable children are protected
Every week World Vision features a #Hiddenheros an ordinary person with extraordinary impact. When I read these stories I am so inspired by each individuals strength and ability to rise up through these challenges to help others
For more information https://www.wvi.org
Neighborhood Network is calling on the community to #Spreadjoynotgerms
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Neighbourhood Network has been working with its charitable partners, local municipal leaders, and key stakeholders to identify the most urgent needs our communities are currently facing. They also quickly identified safe actions people could take immediately from their own home during quarantine
Draw Pictures for Seniors
Seniors alone in their homes and retirement residents are suffering from extreme loneliness as a result of social isolation. Draw a picture or create some homemade artwork to send to a senior in need! When your masterpiece is complete, snap a photo or scan it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call a Senior
For those in isolation, a phone call can go a long way! Call 1-877-452-4287 to volunteer for CHATS – Community & Home Assistance to Seniors Telephone Reassurance program today.
Donate Goods and Funds
Charities and non-profits are also on the front-lines providing important services to those in need and at risk in their communities.