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Volunteer Recognition Day

We all want to change the world. Some people are fortunate and resourceful enough to have the means to do something huge like start the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or donate half a million dollars for water filters in Flint like Elon Musk. The rest of us sometimes struggle to find time to help out as much as we want to.

Volunteering and making a difference doesn’t have to be as big as the sweeping actions taken by large companies and successful entrepreneurs. You can make a difference in your own community a little bit at a time, even with something as small as buying a coffee and muffin for the guy you see panhandling outside of Tim Horton’s.

In honour of Volunteer Recognition Day, I decided to ask around the office to find out what sort of charities or volunteer activities people here at ThoughtWire get involved with. Here are some of the answers I got back:

  • One of our senior Customer Success specialists is involved with an informal initiative every Christmas that collects warm clothes for people on the streets. They take those clothes to downtown Toronto and offer them to anyone they meet who is asking for change. Last Christmas they also expanded the operation to include sandwiches.
  • Our HR Business Partner volunteers with Talent Beyond Boundaries, an organization that helps refugees find international employment. To help prepare candidates with their job search, she assists with resume writing and conducting mock interviews.
  • Sometimes animals need help too! One of our Business Analysts helps out with an organization called Redemption Paws. They're a dog rescue that works in disaster areas, like places affected by hurricanes or drought, to help at-risk dogs find homes in Canada.

We also get together as a team for charitable giving. For example, a Christmas tradition of ours is to do a Secret Santa gift exchange; the catch is that you buy a gift that you think the person would have enjoyed when they were a kid. Once they’ve been exchanged, we donate all the gifts to the CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish program.

It can be overwhelming to think about volunteering or giving to charity; just remember that while you can’t help everyone, you can usually at least help someone. Lots of people want to change the world, and one of the ways to do that is to focus on the differences you can make in your own community. When we work on change from the bottom up, good things happen.

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