“..and a Time for Every Purpose Under the Heaven.”

This proverb introduces the many ways in which humans need to be reconciled to the paradoxes of the world, and accept the facts of  our own life cycle which includes loses and new beginnings. As we begin 2012, let’s consider how best to live with purpose and meaning, and to give this season the very best that is in each of us.

I cherish the fact that employees and volunteers at March of Dimes give so much of themselves, generally doing more than the job description, more than the duties required. Finding meaning in one’s job comes from giving generously to others, meeting the needs of clients, working collaboratively with colleagues, and creatively and with integrity responding to every situation and opportunity. Feeling fulfilled comes from within oneself and is more genuine I believe, than just feeling good from receiving praise. Each of us knows when we are working well or putting in time. Each of us knows when we do something worthy for someone who requires our assistance, or contribute to the overall goals of the team or the entire organization. Many don’t have to be asked to contribute, but each person deserves the opportunity to make his or her contribution, and to share in the common purpose.

While our hearts and minds are open to “goodwill” among our fellows at this holiday season, we should capture and hold this spirit close, drawing on it throughout the year. We can nurture this in each other, because every kindness deserves another kindness. If we recognize and cultivate our own purpose and acknowledge the contributions of others we have a richer society, a workforce fulfilled and a community of caring, supporting individuals. People with disabilities bring their purpose and goodwill to us as well so let’s think about sharing our truly common goal of a better society, inclusive of everyone.

At March of Dimes, we are dedicated to Solutions for Independence. We can achieve this with the alignment of purpose of our employees and volunteers, our donors and funders, and agency partners, and we hope to attract more Canadians to our common vision. January is March of Dimes month. Be a part of this purposeful, meaningful vision of full inclusion, and give something of yourself, and if you are able, make a donation by going to www.mymod.ca, and/or bring your friends and relatives to this site also.

May you be inspired for another year and may it be a happy and fulfilling one.

About modcpresident
I grew up in Calgary, where I completed a BA at the University of Calgary, then travelled and taught in Kenya and the Canadian Arctic during the heyday of Trudeaumania, hippie travel and social experimentation. I settled in Vancouver to complete a Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia, and stayed another 8 years. After graduating I was a Social Planner and eventually became the Executive Director of the Social Planning and Research Council of BC. Ontario March of Dimes recruited me in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons and the 30th anniversary of the agency. It has grown from a budget of $5m in '81 to $100m in 2010. Services have expanded drafmatically. We incorporated a non profit housing corporation in 1992 and a national charity in 2001, and since 2006 the latter has operated as March of Dimes Canada. We own and operate several properties that provide accommodation and independent living services to 77 people in 4 municipalities and will add another property this year. Two other exciting non profit entities have been incorporated in my 30 years (yes, it has been 30 years!) and we expect to hold our first fundraiser in the US this year and to initiate our first service south of the border also. My role as President and CEO continues to be that of creating a vision, fulfilling the mission and developing strategic plans to meet an increasing demand for services from people with disabilities and their caregivers. This is achieved through direct service, advocacy and peer programs. On a personal note, I live with my 17 year old daughter and two cats, and enjoy their company a lot. My two adult sons are doing interesting exploration in their own lives and I am intrigued with how they are progressing. In my spare time, I have various volunteer roles on several non profit boards and committees, and enjoy creating programs for building awareness of diversity and disability. I think it has become true for me that youth is, while not "wasted on the young," something that I appreciate more with age. Adventures are physically more challenging for me now, so they have to occur in new dimensions.

One Response to “..and a Time for Every Purpose Under the Heaven.”

  1. steveemploy says:

    Solutions for Independence.

    I saw this title in the first blog I read and decided to comment.

    I will keep this brief.

    My solution for independence was as it states “I had to learn to become independant”.

    I have been a comsumer of March of Dimes three times or maybe more. One of the services I recieved over the years “employment placement” as support person for challenged person in a sheltered work shop .the location was Toronto.(1960’s) A lot has changed over the pasting of time and now that postion is PSW in the work place.

    The next services I recieved from March of Dimes was employment support and I obtained a brief placement in computer manufactoring in Markham.(1990’s) I was working with person with physical challenges and mine was a mental disability. The experince was good for me (maybe two weeks).

    The last services I recieved from March of Dimes (2000’s) was also “employent services’.
    (York Region. Ontario) This comfirmed to me what I have titled this “comment I was told that I had to be independant in my search for employment with my March of Dimes worker. I did not continue with this service and have not required March of Dimes since that last time.

    The reason I have not required services from March of Dimes is clear to me now. It is because of the peer support movment that has been going on in the 2000’s.

    I realized some 3-4 years ago that persons with disabilities can obtains and have received peer support from their peers.

    My introduction to the volunteer peer support started with CMHA when I was asked if I would attend a “Intentional Peer Support Seminar” for a week. I met with peer workers and their employer and learnt many things about their relationship with each (postive and nagative).

    After my “Intentional Peer Support Seminar” I started a peer support group at CMHA and it has been continuing for over three years now. Some at CMHA was were very learly of volunteer peer support work so staff were present for the maybe the first year. Most of the time presently the peer group is lead and ran by peers in attendant. THAT IS THE “Solutions for Independence”.

    As a peer I presenting here a forum to start a dialouge on relationships between peers an.health care providors.

    Thank you March of Dimes for being part of my learning to find “My Solutions for Independence”.

    Maybe my username should be “stevevolunteerpeer”

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