Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mayor Brenda - Get Your Hands Dirty

Who doesn't love Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran?

Photo Credit: City of Waterloo website

In my previous post about role modelling, I said "If you are out in the community, you are being looked at. Everything you do reflects on yourself and the legacy your are leaving in this world." Mayor Brenda reflects this statement with every fibre of her being and she is one of my local role models.

Mayor Brenda started her Ignite Charity talk with the always relevant Ghandi quote, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Then she challenged us to go one further... "Can you be the change you want to see in our community?"

Being change-makers in our community is one of the most important tasks we can embark on. Being change-makers involves your civic duties of voting, cleaning litter and being respectful of your fellow citizens. Being change-makers means you go out of your way to make our community better.

In order to make change, Mayor Brenda says you need to get your hands dirty. You need to get involved. Not everyone is gifted to work with the homeless. I am and so I do. But that doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do to help the homeless and vulnerable in our city. You don't need to be on the street; you can be organizing press releases, sitting on a planning committee, putting a coat of paint up in a run-down apartment or donating funds to buy food and hygiene items. Maybe you can't volunteer within the hospital but with a passion you can help organize a penny drive for the Cancer Centre or you can be the lucky dude that gets to roll all those donated pennies.

There is a job for you. You are creative, talented and worthwhile. You have a lot to contribute to our community.

As much as we all want to help third-world starving children and women's rights, we all need to be thankful for those who are willing to dig in, contribute at home and continue to work to make our home the kind of place that other people dream of living in.

Step up. Fill a void. - Mayor Brenda Halloran 

*This is part 4 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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