Sunday, 18 March 2012

Today at the grocery store a few men were discussing which type of frozen french fries to buy: crinkle cut or straight cut. I couldn't help but think that it's a very Canadian problem to worry about which type of food to eat instead of worrying about if there will be any food to eat. But, it was only a fleeting thought because I knew I was wrong.
There are people all around the world who don't have enough food to eat and Canadians aren't an exception. In Canada, there are people that struggle with poverty.

I recently came across the Facebook page for Canadian Feed The Children (CTFC) and learned something new: CTFC serves many Canadian children healthy meals. I had heard of CTFC and knew that the organisation brings healthy food to many children in several countries. CTFC helps feed children in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti and Uganda; I didn't know that the organisation also helps feed vulnerable children in Canada.

Through school and after-school programs, many Canadian children are provided with healthy foods to help meet their nutritional needs. For many families, it is difficult to afford fresh fruit and vegetables to keep on hand. Vegetables trays and fruit are just some of the food that CFTC provides to vulnerable children.

I think it's worth having a look at the CTFC Facebook page because it presents useful information, photographs (like the one above) and stories that will touch your heart.

If you would like help in CTFC's efforts, you can volunteer, send an e-card, make a donation, or buy a children's cookbook. You can find out more by visiting the Canadian Feed The Children website.

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Sunday, 11 March 2012

As a child, I happily carried my little orange UNICEF box as I trick-or-treated my way from house to house on Halloween. I felt good about collecting coin donations in that little box, and bringing the jingling box of coins to school the next day to send off to UNICEF.

As an adult, teachers no longer offer me a chance to carry a tiny orange box around while wearing a clown costume. Instead, I get most of my information on the Web and try to make informed decisions about how I'll contribute to this world. Oh, doesn't thinking sound complicated? It's a good thing I learn things on YouTube sometimes.

Today I came across a new video on Unicef Canada's YouTube channel. In it, Lenny Kravitz speaks in support of UNICEF and of the importance of clean drinking water and sanitation. He mentions that 4,000 children die every day because of unsafe drinking water, unsanitary and unhygienic conditions.

Among its many children's advocacy and charitable efforts, UNICEF, along with governments and partners has helped drill wells, install water pumps and build latrines. Improved water conditions have helped over 2 billion people and improved sanition has helped over 1.8 billion people. UNICEF has educated children and mothers about hygiene, and has provided many people sanitation and clean water in emergency situations. However, many people are left without access to clean water and proper sanitation. The good news is that we can help through UNICEF. For more information, visit

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Well, hello again. Another Sunday night, another post from me to you. I'm amazed at the reach of this new blog. I sit here on a tiny speck of the globe in Canada, writing about kindness, and many of you lovely readers are from across the globe. A good percentage of you are from Europe, and it brings me back to my thoughts on the incredible social connecting power of the Web. There are so many voices to be heard from all over the world.

The Web has provided me many opportunities to connect with, listen, watch and understand people that I probably would not have met in a different scenario. So, I'd like to make a suggestion: pay attention. Many of us love social media websites (you're reading a blog, aren't you?). So, while we're having fun looking at photographs of our friend's latest island vacation, let's make note of what's really going on in people's lives, what they care about, what they're concerned about and what we can do to make others and ourselves happier. Before you rule out this idea, keep in mind that you don't have to give up posting funny internet memes or playing games on your favourite social media website.

So, are you in?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Another week has come and gone, and all week long I noticed the goodness in people around me.

It was many little things that could go unnoticed, but instead, were noticed.

It was efforts to laugh at others' jokes when the jokes weren't very funny, to give gifts when they were unexpected, to give a hand to hold when a hand was needed.

It was a well-dressed businessman standing in the cold winter air, holding a college door open for many young strangers.

It was a beautiful friend reaching out to me, sending an email to let me know she was thinking of me.

It was a caring manager sitting across from me at a meeting table, telling me I can rely on her.

In one week, many little moments like these made me remember why I want to focus on kindness: kindness makes me incredibly happy.

To know that people want to do good is to know that there is hope for more good. And, I need to know that. Don't you?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

I've seen enough YouTube videos to equal the length of a few feature films. And, to tell you the truth, I've enjoyed them as much as the films. I like the simple, real, funny and heartfelt quality that comes through in many YouTube videos. Some videos go viral, reaching thousands or millions of people. Imagine the powerful messages that could be conveyed and how far they could reach.

I recently saw a video posted on YouTube by McGill University in Montreal. It's real, funny and heartfelt, but not quite simple. It features scientists, students, lab technicians and volunteers from the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre. Every view of the video results in a donation to the research centre, where the cancer research programs have made significant contributions.
If you would like to help raise funds to support cancer research, you should watch this video.

If you want to be inspired to dance around the room, you should watch this video.

If you secretly wish to be a scientist and Broadway star (at the same time), you should watch this video.

There have been many Web-based videos that raise money based on their view counts. Have you seen any others? What do you think about these videos?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Hello, everyone. Valentine's Day is fast-approaching and I think it would be nice to send someone love through a special e-card (because we're staying with an e-theme here). You probably have certain people you like to give candy hearts, flowers, and sweet messages. Well, you can send an e-card with a special message attached - a message that includes a charitable donation in their honour.
The Canadian Diabetes Association recently tweeted about sending e-cards to help fight diabetes. I think for the right person it's a nice way to let him or her know you care. You can choose an e-card by clicking here. Based on the ecard previews I saw, they look modern and adorable.
The Canadian Diabetes Association helps people with diabetes in many ways, including education and health services and providing access to medical supplies. To find out more, visit The website features a lot of useful information about diabetes, nutrition and healthy living, so you and the people you love could benefit from taking a few minutes to browse the website.

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Sunday, 5 February 2012

It’s February once again. And, it’s Heart Month in several countries. In Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s goal for the end of February 2012 is to reach 1 million actions that will “Make Death Wait.” These actions can involve healthy meal planning, walking, running, donating, and volunteering.

The foundation’s website features a count of various efforts that help reach the goal. Among the counted efforts is sharing the foundation’s messages or people’s own stories. So, simply passing on information is acknowledged as significant help. In my opinion, it’s a great step that emphasises the importance of social connections and social media.

To share your story, or to download a Facebook app that allows you to see how heart disease and stroke can affect the people in your social network, click here. After all, it truly is about people.

Many videos are available on the Heart and Stroke Foundation website and YouTube. Here's one of the recent campaign videos:

Of course, I want to mention the volunteers. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has thousands of volunteers who help raise awareness and funds for the goal of reducing heart disease and stroke-related deaths. The foundation’s website currently features a story about a 92-year-old man from Ontario’s Niagara Region who has been volunteering for the Heart and Stroke Foundation for 50 years. To read this action-inspiring story, click here.
When I was searching online for information about Heart Month, I first came across the Twitter account for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Many tweets give useful information that could improve your life. To read or follow the Twitter feed, click here.
This is a small sample of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s efforts. I hope it has encouraged you to find out more on your own. Maybe you can join in to help reach the goal for Heart Month. What do you think?

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