Friday, September 17, 2010

Giving Back

A bad thing happened to our family on October 31st, 2008.

A bad thing that was made so very much better by the countless friends, family members, colleagues and community members who reached out, opened their hearts, rolled up their sleeves .... provided hugs and kind words. Between you and I, it was rather overwhelming.

Behind closed doors, the Husband and I regularly had tears of gratitude. As rather independent people, it's very, very hard to accept this kind of help. But we knew that we needed help of all kinds .... and that we would likely do the same in others' shoes.

Along the way, we racked our brains and stressed about how we would ever, ever thank all these people. I have a list that literally has hundreds of names on it - folks who donated furniture, bought us laundry baskets, left smoke detectors on our doorstep, baked brownies, organized a party (!), made lasagnas, helped us move, took our kids, gave us snowsuits .... toys, blankets, teapots .... kind emails, cards, drew us pictures, gave bottles of wine, made jokes and generally did whatever they could to lighten the mood, and get us through it.

We felt enveloped.

You can't possibly put into words the thanks you feel. It all seems so inadequate.

So, we decided to try to give back in some way - pay it forward, live our lives from this day forward in a different way .... We got truly settled in the Spring, and a few opportunities arose which allowed us to use the home we built for a good and interesting purpose.

In May, we opened our home to the Royal Ottawa Hospital for a special Home Tour to kick start the "The 40 Back" Campaign. It was a lovely event. We had 70 people in our house with fantastic catering from Tulips & Maple. and speakers from
The flowers were amazing -

It was part of the Royal's "You Know Who I Am" campaign to raise awareness for mental illness. It's partnership with Boomerang Kids and Rikochet Resale. 40 % of proceeds from donated clothing go to the ROH Foundation.

Check it out here:

(Incidentally, the partners who own Boomerang dropped off boxes of clothes and toys to us the very next day after the fire .. we'll never forget, gals!)

Another opportunity arose when we were asked to participate in the Glebe House Tour, to again, open our home to raise money for our local community centre, where so much good stuff happens for the community. The entire tour is run by dedicated volunteers. There are some amazing homes on the tour ...

Find out more here:

Tickets are $25 and all proceeds go to the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group. Check out the wonderful sketch of our home, below. It's used on the cover of the House Tour ticket ... I love it.

(Incidentally, the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group also did a ton for several other victims of fires in our area over the past year ... holding fundraiser concerts, opening bank account for donations etc.)

It's on Sunday, September 19th, 1-4 pm. Hope you all come out and support GNAG and the great things they do.

We have other plans, as well. The husband's alma mater wants to use our home for some alumni fundraising events in the coming year. We're always happy to give folks a tour, hold an event here - it feels like a house that we share with everyone who helped us. We hope this vibe becomes a part of the home's personality - it is a home built for sharing.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful way to give back to the community that helped you out :-)

    I'm going on the tour this afternoon -- looking forward to seeing your home and the five others on the tour :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies