Get What You Give

Whenever I read articles that discuss charitable giving or volunteering, I often notice that Manitoba and Winnipeg are brought up as heavy hitters, comparatively speaking. There is something about the people in our province that makes us dig deep in our wallets and try to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. What is it about us that allows us to do that? My guess is that it may have something to do with a relatively stable economy and fairly affordable living expenses. There may be more money in Toronto or Vancouver, but the average person has to put a lot more into expenses, especially housing. Regardless of the reason, it’s nice to see those articles where Manitoba is shown as a leader in a positive way.

On a personal note, many people in my life are actively involved in the community. Whether it’s coaching sports, managing a community centre, working with United Way, or volunteering on a charitable board, I regularly see the positive impact made by these people. Meanwhile, I am ashamed to say that I have never regularly volunteered anywhere. It’s not for lack of empathy or time. I honestly get overwhelmed. I’ve visited the Volunteer MB website so many times, and every time I can’t seem to figure out where I would be the most helpful. I want to get involved and I have a pretty lengthy list of causes that I feel very passionate about. It’s a matter of getting to the point of taking action.

My new employer is very active in the community. They make substantial donations, run volunteer campaigns and reward employees who are active members in the community. I’m excited to say that through work and Habitat for Humanity, I will be volunteering to help build a home for a family in need. I’m a little nervous about it because I’ve never helped to build anything before, but I’m excited to learn and help out as much as I can. I want this opportunity to push me into making a commitment to community involvement. Specifically, I’m interested in exploring the area of literacy perhaps with BookMates. If anyone has had any positive experiences with any local charitable organizations, I would love to hear about it.

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