Thursday, September 20, 2012

Carlos Benevides - Mr. Deeds

PHOTO CREDIT: I stole it from Carlos' Facebook profile.

Carlos Benevides is an all-around nice guy. He plays the part of funny man on the radio but deep down inside his slightly sarcastic crust is a guy who is using the power of the airwaves for a very important message:

Community matters.

So on November 25, 2011, Carlos set out on a mission, complete 30 Deeds in 30 Days, showcasing the different types of agencies and volunteer positions in our community and promote them on the air each morning. It was a massive call to action; if he can get up at 4 am every morning, host a radio show plus attend/MC all the other events he's required to attend as a radio personality and still find time to volunteer, we all can.

Carlos visited 30 different agencies in Waterloo Region:

Habitat for Humanity
Community Support Connections 
Foster Families Association of Waterloo Region
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region
St. John's Soup Kitchen
Marillac Place
Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank
Popcorn House Community Resource Centre
Community Living Cambridge
MCC Generations Thrift Store
Lion's Club of Kitchener Seniors Party
Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society
Pride Stables
Haven House
Mosaic Counselling
Nutrition for Learning
Food Bank of Waterloo Region
House of Friendship
Traverse Independence
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
Alzheimer Society of Waterloo Region
Grand River Hospital
Cambridge Shelter
Canadian Blood Services

Exhausting list. And I'm sure that Carlos was exhausted when he finished his project. But he didn't stop there.

When Carlos spoke at Ignite Charity, he challenged us to all find one day and one hour a week to volunteer.

And it is that easy.

Volunteering doesn't always have to be in the places or in the positions that you expect. Volunteering can mean sitting on the board of a local agency, it can be picking up trash in the park or shovelling driveways for your elderly neighbours. People volunteer in PR and marketing roles, as accountants and as special event coordinators. If you find an organization that you are completely passionate about but they don't have a volunteer position that suits you why not send the Executive Director your resume, outline your skills and expertise and present them with a package detailing exactly what you think they're missing and what you can bring to the organization. I've had several volunteer roles created to suit my unique abilities.

There's nothing stopping you from volunteering. If you think you're too busy, you need to check out this post on Brendan Sheehan, the King of Busy. If you think you have nothing to offer, you're wrong.

So why not take up the Carlos Challenge? One hour a week. One hour a week where you will be changing lives. Making a difference. Being a change maker in your community.

In that 30 days I probably did the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. - Carlos Benevides

And I'm willing to bet it won't be the last. You truly are a community hero, Carlos.

*This is part 8 in a series of 15 blogs detailing the amazing projects presented in the world's first ever Ignite Charity: Waterloo. For more info on Ignite Charity visit and follow the conversation on twitter @IgniteCharity.

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