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July 27, 2018

Painting Local Love #LocalLove

"When you change the way you look at things, the things we look at change." ~ Wayne Dyer

I'm proud to say I'm a "give back" kind of girl; many people know I love to support local initiatives and charities. Here's what I've noticed though: some people shy away from getting involved in charitable causes because they believe they can't afford it financially. As in, they can't contribute money to the cause.

We all have something to give.

I've always believed in sharing talents in lieu of money. In my case, I align myself with organizations that need writers, or event producers, social media assistance or hosts. My talents add value, content, and passion to the initiative, and most importantly, it means I can use my skills to help others and connect so much more deeply. 

"When you chance the way you look at things, the things we look at change." 

Sure, writing a cheque or getting a tax credit is easy and convenient. And I'm not suggesting NOT to donate. Please, donate. But getting involved -- like personally invested -- into a cause will leave you with such a deep pride. And it doesn't have to be difficult. Try it.

In fact, I'm trying it with my eldest daughter, Isabelle. Isabelle is 6 years old, and this summer, I decided to create a give back project we can do together. Of course, we've been introducing the concepts of donating clothes and unused toys for many years, but I wanted for her to understand that even at 6 years old, she can use her talent to make someone else happy.

And then it came to me. Painting.

Isabelle loves to paint; it brings her so much joy. So when I asked her if she'd like to create some paintings to brighten up other kids' lives, she was ecstatic. We talked about children who may be sick at the hospital, or at a clinic, and babies who are staying in the NICU. Isabelle was a preemie, so we often discuss babies who have to live at the hospital. (Plus decorating the NICU has always been a secret goal of mine -- those walls are so blah, and seeing a piece of art created by a graduate preemie would bring so much comfort to a parent in the NICU, in my opinion.)

Truthfully, I didn't even know if this would all be possible. But we didn't let that stop us. 

And so, we started our summer project with a passion. Together we will create a variety of artwork and choose a centre or hospital that will accept our colourful creations. We're making small ones, larger ones, cork boards. And maybe our little project will grow. And others will join in. I honestly hope it does.

Either way, I'm happy my daughter learns a few things about giving back:
- anyone can give love, share talent and passion and make an impact, especially in their own community
- you can use your time off (aka summer holidays) for good deeds
- there are many ways you can support a cause, and if you can't find one you like, make up your own
- the generosity in your heart is priceless

And as a parent, I feel happy knowing I'm enriching my child's life and hopefully setting her up to be a leader, a philanthropist and an all-round do-gooder. 

For more ideas on how you can give back locally, I suggest you take a look at, where you can find easy ideas on ways you can get your kids involved in local initiatives and learn about inspiring change makers in your community. Sign up for the weekly Good News Letter -- I love to read it every week.

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Change the way you look at volunteering or giving back. Try a different perspective. 

And, here, our first few creations..

your photo name

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Local Love and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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