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Putting my money where my mouth is

From my very first job in high school feeding disabled children at what is now Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, to the work I do now empowering women to live their best life part of my ethos has always been to give back, and make a difference.

Now, part of my revenues go to causes that are important to me.

Today, on Giving Tuesday I want to encourage you to do the same.

I have been deeply moved by the inequities that continue to exist in the world and this is a great opportunity for me to put my money where my mouth is.

If I want things to change, I need do things differently also.

Dean explained how things started simply enough. "I remember being called out for speaking out in school for as long as I can remember. I wasn't a bad kid, I just had opinions and they weren't welcome" then, being disruptive and that grew to detentions and then before he knew it, the community police officer in school knew who he was. Then, when charged for a minor infraction, he was identified as being “know to police”. This resulted in a more serious charge and jail time. Now this young man at the age of 17 was being thrown in jail for a minor infraction that would normally be just a fine. This chain of events occurred due to the systemic racism in our schools and justice system and compounded by the police presence in school. This example shows how easily school to prison pipeline is reinforced resulting in 10% of our prison population coming from the black community although they represent only 3% of our population.

So, this year on Giving Tuesday, I am looking for causes to support that will impact inequities in the world and create the world I want to live in.

A few things come to mind for me and I wanted to share them with you.

First of all, I have been deeply impacted by the healing power of yoga and meditation and New Leaf Foundation is an organization taking these tools to youth in schools, prison, detention centres and in underserved areas.

They have a powerful series of events on virtually right now on inequities and I encourage you to follow them if you are interested in learning more – the last one on the School to Prison Pipeline was informative, shocking and hopeful all at the same time.

The Toronto Foundation has put together a Fallout Report on the impact that COVID has had on the city and it is clear that the impact is vastly greater for those of colour, and women. They have published a great resource of organizations lead by people of colour and those that are indigenous and serving those communities. There is no question they need our help now more than ever.

Check out this list and see for yourself what incredible things are happening here and how you can amplify this work through a donation. Or check out your own neighbourhood resources and see what you can find.

The interesting thing about giving is when you give, you get at the same time.

Not only do you impact someone else’s life in a positive way, but you also get a boost of endorphins – the same hormone that gives runners their runners high.

Furthermore, you also get a flood of oxytocin, sometimes called the cuddle hormone, which lowers your stress and makes you feel more connected to others.

I get it, not everyone is in a position to give right now. Unemployment is a big issue and if you or your family is impacted, I just wanted to say I am sending my love and support and hoping things turn around for you soon.

Speaking of time, you get the same benefits and more from giving of your time - especially when you give your time with someone you appreciate.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end! I am going off to make my donation now. Have a great day! Let me know who you are supporting today by putting a comment below.

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