The holiday season is over and it's back to work. Before we all get swept up in being busy, let's take a moment to reflect on the 2013 year and all the inspirational things that came with it. In no particular order, here are the top 5 inspiring things that I saw, heard, or read about in 2013.
Woman knits 1000 toques for charity
I couldn’t stop smiling when I first heard this story about an 85 year-old-woman who knit three toques a day for NAIT’s Share the Warmth Campaign. Can you imagine the time and commitment it would take to create 1000 toques in a year? This humble lady tries to downplay it, but think about what our world might be like if we all gave that much of our time to the causes we care deeply about.
Project Three Six Five
“Day 190: Left bus tickets at the station”
Another clear example of inspiring commitment, this time to adding an extra splash of kindness in someone's day. I wrote about this project back in March, but unsurprisingly Michelle and her blog detailing her daily good deeds, which as of today has reached a whopping 192 acts, makes my list of inspiring things for 2013.
MacEwan University's Dinner to End Hunger
Now who wouldn’t be inspired by the size of that steak? Perhaps the students at MacEwan University who were only fed boiled rice and vegetables; forced to scoop water from a pale to quench their thirst. They had to garner some inspiration from the event instead.
I was lucky to be able to sit back and watch as friends, who arrived together, were randomly split up at tables representing different socio-economic groups for their meals. Those who were lucky enough to fall into the upper class, enjoyed a five course meal for only $5. The majority were not so lucky. But it wasn't just the feeling of "missing out" and hunger filling the room that I found inspiring. This event also brought in United Way Discovery Speakers to share stories and information about growing up in poverty and the hunger challenges that can come with it. Participants left deep in thought about what their role could be in ending hunger in our region and in the world.
Voting was more accessible to people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton this year.
Many people who are experiencing homelessness have a difficult time keeping their ID safe and secure. That is why United Way funding supports Boyle Street Community Centre's Edmonton Safe ID Storage Service which provides respectful, pro-active, client focused assistance for the acquisition, retention and retrieval of ID for people who are poor, social marginalized, homeless or at risk of homelessness.
In the 2013 municipal election, the staff at Bissell Centre's polling station, and a new station placed at Boyle we allowed to vouch for their clients who didn’t have ID. I found this story inspiring because I see it as an example of people looking at a system that is trying to uphold democracy, but creating barriers for some of our most vulnerable, and simply improving it.
To This Day Project
While not a local story, there was no way I couldn’t include this Canadian made short film as it confronts a subject that is very real to people in the Alberta Capital Region. Bullying. You’ve probably seen it. It's been watched close to 12 million times - a couple dozen by me.
Now that I've shared 5 things from 2013 that inspired me, I want to know what inspired or is continuing to inspire you. Let me know in the comments below.