Tag Archives: charities

Battle of the Blades

The marriage between hockey legends and competitive figure skaters makes for interesting television.

If you haven’t heard about the new CBC show Battle of the Blades I suggest you get up to speed. CBC has me tuning in each week to watch  some of the former greats of the National Hockey League pair skate with the most skillful and talented figure skaters of our time. This is perfect for someone like me because I have always enjoyed watching competitive skating and have maintained a long love affair with hockey.

In front of a live audience at Maple Leaf Gardens, the opportunity to see people we admire in both sports and good old fashion competition, heats up the ice. This is a brilliant concept, a reality show that is open for men, women and children to watch. Canada is rich in talent in both of these sports and this pays tribute in its own way to those that have previously dedicated their life to pursuing their dream in hockey or ice skating.

Competition is good! We have long been trying to beat this out of our system and I can tell you, keeping score is what also makes this show fun. This is a good example of healthy competition, it helps improve the performances and provides a good example of how one can step out of their comfort zone to try something new.

Did any of these NHL’ers ever think that the dance they would be doing in the future would not involve, finessing around someone to score a goal or dropping their gloves? No. None of them knew they had this in them and so they are good examples of using skills in a different way and being open to learning.

For the figure skaters who are helping to train these ex-hockey players, they must exercise patience. These women and the choreographers are not dealing with equally gifted and trained ice skaters so there certainly must be a high level of trust. Hour upon hour they work toward a goal, to enjoy the experience, stay in the competition and raise money for their charity. Yes, did I mention the charities? This is what takes this program to another “special” level, each pair has chosen a charity to represent. Only good can come from that, whether it be money or exposure.

I tune in to watch, relax, cheer and voice my inexpert opinion. I also tune in because I realized there is more to this show than voting at the end of each competition for our favourite pair. It is about pushing your own perceived physical and mental boundaries, trying something you never thought you would, raising your self confidence, partnership and trust, competition, unity and charity. Now that’s a well packaged show!

Battle of the Blades

Giving in Tough Times

Everyday I see pamphlets, commercials and print ads reminding us about the special charities that need our help. In tough times every penny counts, so donating to not-for-profit organizations can be difficult. However, every once in a while I like to give a reminder and some ideas for giving:

When you get that extra change given back to you after a purchase at your local store, pass it along. There is usually a can, box or display that makes it easy to give. We all know someone who gained support through an organization even the smallest of donations add up over time.

Your time is precious,  precious to those that need volunteers. It is always appreciated & you get to meet great people who share a similar interest. There is the potential to learn something new, utilize existing talents and generally to feel that wonderful sense of purpose.

If you can not spare a dime or the time here is another way to give…forward a kind note or phone message letting a charity know you appreciate all that they are doing. That could lift their spirits too!

If you have a website or blog as I do, ask a charity if you could mention their site on yours. It may be welcomed and inspire others to give in what ever way they can.

There are always ways to give, even in this economy. Be creative and ask yourself “How can I contribute?” or “Who will benefit from my skills?”  Giving is highly gratifying for everyone involved. For a list of charities – – *Check online * Library notice boards * Chamber of Commerce * Community Service Centres * City Hall

As always for Canada here again is a plug for Charity Village – check it out!

Charity Village

Hey! Get inspired by this solo performance by Roger Hodgson from Supertramp

Give A Little Bit

The Spirit of Giving

As some of you may know I like to volunteer my time and give to various charities. Since I was first out on my own, earning my own dollars, I have done both of these things. I believe in the power of volunteerism to enhance the skills of an individual, develop a connection to others and to build a better community. I have met incredible people through volunteering and essentially began my career as a volunteer. I had a wonderful mentor, a woman named “Pat” who gave generously of her time, expertise and wisdom to my development.

I also have supported many different charities over the years, especially those benefiting women, children and our precious animals.

Adoption has become very rewarding for me but not in the way you would think, over two years ago I adopted a baby elephant named “Lempaute”. I had watched 60 Minutes in which they featured an incredible woman whose name is Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick. In Kenya, she and her team head up The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a charity started in memory of her late husband David Sheldrick MBE. I have loved the opportunity to participate in the saving and care of these magnificent animals and greatly appreciate the people who work tirelessly along side them. I really look forward to the pictures and updates I receive. www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

The SPCA has received in the past, my time for dog walking which subsequently precipitated me becoming a dog parent for 15 years. The society has also received multiple financial and food donations over the years. It is a job I could never do, as I know my emotions would get in the way, but giving helps.

Supporting women’s organizations is important to me too. Giving to the programs and shelters for abused women, preparing gifts for women in need, providing career coaching services, investing in the Girls Growth Fund and much more. I am always looking for more charities related to women, children and animals to focus my attention on, for information as well as to help.

Worldwide there are programs that need our time, energy and money and I believe it is in service to others that we gain the most. I encourage all women out there to see if in 2009 they can spare a dime or the time for one charity.

Maybe consider a career in the not for profit sector, there are plenty of organizations out there that may need your expertise. A good website in Canada for charities and employment is www.charityvillage.com. Become informed if nothing else, because when you are informed it allows you to pass on a message to others who may be in a better position to help.

Women who have influenced us through their service, started only with a thought to do something about an issue that was important to them. What grew from that affected their immediate family, then affected their community and with great vision went on to affect our world. Whatever you decide as your contribution it will be appreciated, great or small.

Future posts will help us all to become better informed of worldwide issues, feature women of influence and hopefully spark your interest in the spirit of giving.