Birthdays are for paying it forward

1930948_31690493010_6993_nSix years ago on my birthday, I started a new personal tradition. For every person who took the time to think of me on my special day by sending me a greeting via social media/text/call/card, I donated $1 towards a charity or non-profit that had special some special significance. Over the years, WE have supported the Haiti Relief Fund, Humane Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the World Wildlife Federation, the MS Society of Canada, and the Ottawa Mission…As you can tell if you did the math, there were a couple of years where we supported more than one foundation.

This year, I’d like to say thank you again to the 109 people who made my day extra special. I grappled with what this year’s cause would be, but after some contemplation I realized that it was pretty obvious. This year’s special cause is the Canadian Mental Health Association and will be in memory of our friend Adam.

For those of you who have been active in my life over the past couple of years, you know how much my life has changed! I’ve been learning to manage anxiety, stress and depression all while seeing some of the people closest to me go through similar battles but opt not seek outside help. Despite all of the PSA’s educating people about mental health, you can’t force someone to seek help. Sometimes this can really be heartbreaking. This year, we also said goodbye to our friend Adam who had his share of struggles but unfortunately we had no idea about them them until it was too late. I’ve also selected this cause to honour my daughter. Yes – that’s right – I’m a mom! Two years ago, Byron and I become the parents to our beautiful niece/daughter who has been impacted by the domino effects of mental illness and addiction.

I’d better end this post off here before I start getting all emotional… Being a mom has made me a big old softy and now I can’t laugh at my sister Giselle anymore for tearing up while watching Tim Hortons commercials…oh Asian grandpas make me tear up every time!…In any case, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for being in my life and I wanted to let you know that I’ll be making this donation on behalf of all of you!

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