Last updated on August 24th, 2016 at 01:23 am
Today’s post is all about giving back because growing up, most of us have been to a community fair, played soccer or hockey, or participated in some form of group organizations such as scouts or girl guides. These activities and organizations all have something in common; they wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to support the programs or members of the community that help fund them. Now as an adult, it’s my turn to give back.
Giving back to your community doesn’t have to be difficult. If there is anything you are passionate about, you can find some way of giving back and it will be easy and rewarding at the same time
What am I passionate about? I’m definitely passionate about running, after all, I blog about it several times a week. I’m also passionate about my family and my rescue dog Charlie. Here are some examples of how I’ve given back to my community and tied it in with my passions.
Giving Back With the Family
What better way to combine giving back and my favourite exercise, running, by joining a charity run. Every year, I participate in the same 2 charity runs. The first one is the Rankin Run along the Welland Canal in St. Catharines and the second one is the Run for the Cure.
The Rankin Run is a fun local charity run with a huge turnout, about 12 000 people. The proceeds of this fun run go to cancer research and stay within our community. Every year, we join the Rankin Run as a family; my husband, my son and my dog Charlie. It has become a family tradition.
The other Charity run that I do annually is the Run for the Cure. I do this one as part of a team for work but I will talk more about it in the “Giving Back at Work” section below.
Giving Back At Work
For the last 2 years at work and again this year, I help and organize a team of runners and walkers for the Run for the Cure 5 km charity race. Together we raise money doing various fundraisers such as bake sales and contests as well as collecting sponsors. Each year, we’ve raised over $1000 collectively. It’s a fun way to do some team building and give back to the community at the same time.
A work-wide donation program is also a great way to work together as a team to give back. At my work office we do Dress Down Friday’s. Casual clothing such as jeans and T-shirts can be worn on Friday’s. Those who want to participate donate a minimum of $1 to the fund. At the end of the year, we tally up the donations and select a few charities to donate to.
Giving Back With The Dog
My Springer Spaniel Charlie was a rescue from the SPCA. Although I adopted him at 2 years old, he came with a long list of behavioral problems. Joining an obedience class was the best thing I did for the two of us.
My dog trainer at Sparkwatch is very involved in the community, including leading groups of owners with their Good Neighbour Certified dogs to visit the elderly in Long-Term Care facilities. I knew that it would involve a lot of work with Charlie and that became my goal.
After 3 years of obedience training, Charlie graduated as a Canadian Good Neighbour and was able to visit the Long-Term Care facility. Visiting the elderly with Charlie is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.
The residents always anticipated our visits with the dogs. The patients loved playing, petting, feeding the dogs treats or watching Charlie perform tricks. For most patients, it would bring back happy childhood memories of their own dogs and I enjoyed hearing their stories. Sometimes they would open up about other memories they wanted to share.
I was also very proud that Charlie had become a well behaved dog and he always loved his visits. It provided him with lots of love and attention that he craved, as well as some well-deserved treats. It was a win/win/win situation.
Giving Back Doesn’t End Here
There are a few things on my To Do list which I haven’t gotten around to do yet. This includes volunteering for some of my favourite races, helping in keeping my son’s future sport teams organized and getting involved in my son’s school activities.
Giving back is doesn’t have to be difficult and is very rewarding, especially when you find a way to mix in something you are very enthusiastic about.
What’s your passion and how can you use it to give back to the community? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!