I am a very lucky person.
I live in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Its a beautiful city with high employment, lots of green space, museums and galleries, beautiful neighborhoods and low crime rates. We are very close to ski hills (5 smaller ones within an hour of the city and Mont Tremblant just 2 hours away). You can get to the US border in less than an hour and visit upper New York state, you can be in cottage country in minutes, you can party in Montreal in about 2 hours.
I am truly a very lucky person.
There is another side to this beautiful city that I live in. Nineteen percent (19%) of children under the age of 6 live in poverty. One in four families with single moms lives below the poverty line. Somewhere close to 8,000 people need to use the shelters and about 9,000 teens are using drugs. Twelve percent of our community live below the poverty line.
I am a lucky person. I don’t have any of those problems … personally.
BUT, those are my neighbours. They are the people I pass on the street, they might be related to people I know. They are part of the community in which I live … that same community that has given me an opportunity to live a full and rewarding life to date. So … it is my responsibility to help those people, and all the others in our community who need a hand.
This time of year is when the United Way runs its big campaign, and it is one of the charities that I personally believe is making a huge difference in my community. I give money to the United Way, I give my time to the United Way and I am doing what I can to encourage everyone to get involved with helping our communities … and the United Way is just one of the great ways to do that.
I wrote a blog entry not too long ago about why we should all give back… check it out if you want a reminder.
I wrote another entry a month or so later about How Much to Give… which is worth a read if you are struggling with that thought.
Be a part of fixing those parts of our communities that are broken … the world will be a better place for it.
I am a lucky person … and I’m doing my bit to help others be lucky too.