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"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once."
Miguel de Cervantes

Giving Back


As the years pass by, ‘giving back’ or as some like to call it ‘paying forward’ has become more important and present in my life.  There are some wonderful organizations which focus on this concept on a grand-scale such as “Me to We”, founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger which helps and encourages people to make socially-responsible choices in their everyday lives or the Kiva Foundation where individuals can lend as little as $25 US to an entrepreneur as a means of alleviating poverty.


Giving back can be as simple as helping an elderly person in the grocery store or sharing a smile with a homeless person.  It can be financially supporting a worthwhile cause, volunteering with a non-profit organization or lending a helping hand to a friend, colleague or stranger.  No matter how small you feel the contribution is of money, time or in extending a part of yourself in a positive way to others, it can make a significant difference in the lives of the people you reach and touch.


One of my goals and dreams is to do volunteer work in under-developed countries.  For years, I have wanted to be a foster parent to a child in another country.  Recently, I made the choice to sponsor a young girl in the Philippines and one day I hope to travel there to visit her and her family.  In whatever way you can, I encourage you to experience the feeling of pure joy you receive from giving … personally, I have found that what I receive in return is way more than I give!


Click here to read the story of Dr. Valerie Dippel, an optometrist in Kitchener, Ontario and Liz Degustis, a retired elementary school principal, that travel with a team of other optometrists to Guatemala each year giving the gift of sight.  Special thanks to Valerie and Liz for allowing me to share their story and to Christine Michaud, Editor of MOST Magazine, for permission to reprint this article on my website (MOST Magazine, Winter 2008 edition).

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