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Giving Back with a Gift of Hope #GivingTuesday

 Growing up, I remember playing with a handful of toys – a couple of dolls, and a coveted pink Barbie Corvette. We didn’t have much, but the few toys I had were well-treasured. My dad once made me a chalkboard himself so that I could play pretend school.

When the Cabbage Patch doll came out in the 1980s, I remember how much I wanted one. Oh the joy when my dad took me to Woolsworth, and we waited in line to get our hands on one. Those few toys my parents were able to afford, I cherished and still have them today.

Fast forward 30 years later, and I have a family of my own. I’m thankful that my husband and I are able to provide everything to our children. We can afford to splurge during the holidays, stock up on food and wine, and decorate our home. I’m grateful to be able to plan a feast for Christmas, and not think twice about having to budget for our holiday dinner.

Sadly, not everyone is so lucky, which is why this is also the time of year to give back to those in need. Plan International Canada, one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, makes giving back easy and fun through Gifts of Hope.

In celebration of Giving Tuesday, Canadians are being asked to unite to spread hope and joy across the world for a campaign to raise 5,000 Food Baskets for those in need. On November 28th, purchase the gift of a Food Basket and transform lives by preventing malnourishment among thousands of pregnant women, mothers and young children under five.

When I think of pregnant women and moms with young children who need basic necessities of food in order to thrive and grow, giving back with a purchase of a Food Basket is a no-brainer.

Filled with staples like beans, cooking oil, fortified cereal blends and sugar, it’s a basic Food Basket with an impact that is anything but. Gifts of Hope are real gifts that go to real projects, meaning basket by basket, you’ll be saving lives.

Even more, if you purchase a $50 Food Basket, it is matched 10X for a value of $550. One Food Basket is a critical step in preventing a slide into a life-and-death situation so just imagine the power of 5,000 Food Baskets.

Instead of buying your children’s teacher yet another mug for Christmas, or your co-worker yet another box of chocolates, think about purchasing something that will truly make a difference to someone less fortunate.

Plan International Canada’s Gifts of Hope are also a great way to have your children get involved, and fully understand what giving truly means – especially for someone in real need.

This Giving Tuesday, give back and make a real difference in someone’s life.

Click here to learn more about Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope and click here to purchase a Food Basket.

Giving Tuesday

 

Stand-Up Day: Stand Up To Bullying

The vision of a world without conflict seems far-fetched and unrealistic, but around the world, youth are standing up to make this vision a reality.

November 18 marks Stand-Up Day, an anti-bullying day created by two Canadian youth who are passionate about spreading the word that bullying is wrong.

And, they’re not alone – 350 million children around the world suffer violence in schools each year and live in fear of going to school because of bullying, sexual violence and physical punishment.

Did you know that 44 per cent of Canadian youth have been bullied in school?

That’s a staggering number.  A recent survey commissioned by Plan Canada found that more girls (45 per cent) than boys (43 per cent) said they’ve been bullied.

British Columbia came in at the highest at 53 per cent, followed closely by Ontario, 50 per cent, while in Quebec that number is 26 per cent.

“Most bullies act in an inappropriate manner because they are not confident in themselves, and by quietly possessing self-confidence, youth can really dispel most bullying,” says Bryn, a Because I am a Girl Club Ambassador.

Thankfully, there are several programs to help create awareness and reduce bullying.

One way Plan Canada hopes to reduce bullying against children is through its Because I am a Girl Clubs in middle and high schools across Canada. These Girl Clubs aim to empower girls to support one another and stand up for the rights of girls in Canada and around the world. Activity ideas and resources on certain themes, such as self-esteem and conflict resolution, are provided through the club.

stand up to bullying day, stand up day

“I’ve always been a good student, and whenever other kids tease me about being smart, my mother would remind me in a comical way that ‘nerds rule the world,’” said Bryn.

Parents can help by raising their children to have a high self-esteem.  On the other hand, parents must also encourage their children to respect other people’s rights and other children, so that they do not grow up to be the bully.

Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign is setting out to reduce violence against children in schools.  By changing behaviour and legislation, and engaging children, teachers, families and community members, as well as governments, it hopes that schools across the globe will be safe places for every child.

Meanwhile, schools can do more to educate and be educated about bullying.

“It’s definitely important that teachers are aware of the dynamic in the classroom. Also, children and youth learn best by experience. Reading in a textbook that bullying will not be tolerated does not convey the message as strongly as seeing that something is being done about the bully’s behaviour. A classroom plagued with bullying is not an enjoyable environment, even for the bystanders.”

For more information, visit http://www.standupday.com and http://plancanada.ca 

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