Giving Tuesday took place at the end of November and if you aren’t familiar with the concept it’s an international movement focused on giving back. One of the great things about being a Team TELUS Advocate is that not only are they an innovative company with awesome products and services, but they’re also a huge proponent of giving back and making a positive difference in our communities. So when they put out a call to join them in giving back on Giving Tuesday I was bummed that I’d be out of town and unable to join in. Of course, that led to the next realization – that really any day can be a Giving Tuesday… even a Wednesday in December!

There are people and organizations who need help throughout the year and a day like Giving Tuesday is a great way to help remind us of both their need and our responsibility as members of a community to be involved and give back – on an ongoing basis. I live in the West End in Vancouver and one of the places I most like to give back and help out at is the Dr. Peter Centre. They provide meals, counseling, nurses and more for people who have HIV/AIDS and mental issues or addictions. Many of them don’t have the ability to get proper nutrition in their diet and the Dr Peter Centre helps by providing breakfast and lunch to all of the participants who want it, 7 days a week.

So thanks to TELUS’ encouragement to get out and do some giving back for Giving Tuesday, I scheduled an appointment to volunteer serving breakfast at the Dr Peter Centre, to take place a few weeks later after I returned from my trips.

Dr Peter AIDS Foundation Dr Peter AIDS width= Dr Peter Centre

On the day I volunteered most of their breakfast preparation was done when I arrived so I helped out by cutting up bread to be used as croutons later on for lunch. When it was time for the participants to get their breakfast I took care of the beverage and condiment area, keeping it fully stocked and passing along whatever they might need – which was often just a smile! :-) For breakfast they were having eggs, toast, hashbrowns, and a banana. They had the option of getting juice, coffee, or tea from me to drink, providing for a well rounded meal to start their day with. The staff and the participants were all really friendly and I could tell that my help was definitely appreciated.

It’s important to remember that there are many different organizations in our communities that are making a difference in the lives of many people, and you can in fact make an impact by taking some time to give back. Without volunteers these kinds of initiatives would certainly have trouble succeeding, leaving many of our most vulnerable without the proper resources to manage their health. When our community is well fed and supported it positively affects all of us, so thank you to TELUS for reminding me about this and thanks to YOU for getting out and doing your part too!

I was not compensated to write this blog post or volunteer, but TELUS did make a $1000 donation to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation on my behalf, which the organization and I are both very thankful for! Their generosity with all types of non-profits and charities throughout Canada really is quite remarkable. If you have thoughts to share on giving back, a story about what you did for Giving Tuesday, or anything else to add, please feel free to comment below!