Every single day I ask myself, “What can I do to create a positive change in someone else’s life?”
Sometimes, it is as simple as having a conversation or buying a coffee for someone. Sometimes it is taking care of myself so that I can have the energy to take care of others. Sometimes, it is being strict with my children to make sure that I fulfill my responsibilities as a parent to raise them to be responsible citizens. Sometimes, it is as complex as my job in helping others reach their employment goals.
This month, I have taken on a new challenge – my challenge is to support 20 families in St. Lucia who were affected by a trough on December 24th, 2013. This trough created havoc on the island, caused flooding which destroyed hundreds of homes and infrastructure to the cost of one hundred million dollars. Although there has been support to victims from the international community, I feel compelled to do something which will offer some relief to families who have lost their belongings and are trying to rebuild their lives. St. Lucians all over the world have been doing the same!
I teamed up with the St. Lucia Ottawa Association, which is also fund-raising to aid flood victims too. I engaged with my amazing work place, colleagues and friends to join in the challenge. My colleague Jack DuJong who is the head of our fund-raising committee at work, happily headed the first initiative for the challenge – a potluck fund-raising lunch on February 5th.
(Jack and I above with the amazing german, chocolate, caramel walnut cake,which Unita Louis donated to the raffle)
Our colleagues supported it, brought in great food and donated great items of clothing, food, toiletries and bedding for our 20 families. We run a raffle with the top prize being 2 tickets to the St. Lucia Independence Day Gala on February 22nd at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. Unita Louis donated two amazing cakes (one which we raffled), plus a basket of the most delicious bread to sell! We presented a video about St. Lucia and promoted the island as a top destination for travel!
It was an amazing and successful lunch filled with positive energy and a great spirit of community.
The results: We raised $612 plus collected lots of great clothing items, toiletries and bedding for our 20 families and even sold some more tickets for the gala! I think that everyone now has St. Lucia on their list of travel destinations!
(presenting Nathalie Perterkin, Chair of the entertainment committee of the ST.Lucia Ottawa Association, with the funds)
My challenge will continue until the end of February by which time I hope to have enough items of food, clothing, toiletries and bedding to give to those twenty families on behalf of all of us. Through the St. Lucia Ottawa Association, we have secured free shipping of the goods to St. Lucia.
How can you help?
To learn more about the trough which affected St. Lucia, you can access the following links:
Press Release by the Government of St. Lucia
TuneIn to “something” which you can work at to make a difference in the lives of others! StepUp and take a small action step to move that “something” to reality. What is your challenge for this year? Want to join me on my 1st Challenge?