There are certain life lessons we pass on to our children from time to time that are more valuable than any toy or game we can ever buy them. It is tremendously important for me to give my children the understanding of compassion, humility and charity.
I recently took part in a humbling day of making food baskets for Montreal’s less fortunate families. While this is an initiative I’ve supported over the past ten years, this was the first time my children played a role. I could not have thought of a better way to spend an afternoon. Dozens and dozens of volunteers prepared 300 food boxes for underpriveleged Montreal families in need. They consisted of many of the staples (rice, flour, grains) but also meat and treats for the children.
We took the time to explain to our children where the baskets would be going. They were so excited to help out that they started to run and fill the baskets as much as they could. The organizers of the event, Amal Centre pour les Femmes (Amal women’s centre) is a non-profit organization doing tremendous work for underprivileged families in Montreal. They were incredibly organized and were an absolute pleasure to collaborate with.
I could not shake that incredible feeling all week long. A few short days after helping with the food baskets, I came across an article outlining the dire need for donations to local food banks. You see, people for the most part, tend to give around holidays; Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. In the summer months while many of us are vacationing and relaxing with our families, a lot of local food banks are running on fumes.
This realization gave birth to the inaugural CanadianMomEh Food Drive. Two days after this idea dawned on me, I was to attend another charitable event here in Montreal. The annual RS Foundation community dinner. I contacted the organizers and shared my idea. They embraced it wholeheartedly and said while it’s only two days notice, they would make an announcement on their Facebook page. Lo and behold through the generosity of many of the attendees and the compassion of the organizers, we were able to donate over 120 items to Moisson Montreal, Canada’s largest food bank.
RS Foundation is a brilliant organization providing health care and optical services to impoverished families in South Asia. What I love most, is that 100% of donations go directly to the cause and they are run exclusively by volunteers. They have zero overhead. Our children got to watch videos of children their age living in substandard conditions. While the video raised a lot of questions, it also did a lot of good. Our children came home and asked all sorts of questions as to why these children live like that, how come they cannot just go and get an apartment, and why they don’t have anyone to help them out.
I believe charity starts at a young age. If children are exposed to acts of charity when they are young, it will become a natural act for them as they grow older. I am thankful for these opportunities to expose my children to some of the harsh realities of our world and thankful for so many amazing organizations doing awesome work.