Posts Tagged ‘shelter’

How can you provide shelter? | @kjparkes #12Days4Good

December 14, 2016

Life is shaped by scarcity. Our history and humanity — both culture and biology — have always been shaped by need. Everything about us, from what we eat, wear, where we live, the language we speak, how we spend our time, and much more is a product of necessity. The story of technology is our work carefully fabricating solutions to the problem of scarcity.

Every one of us has to confront this problem. Having enough calories to keep our bodies going. Having shelter to keep us safe from the elements. Having clean water to drink. Fundamentally, we all have these needs in common. And yet many people have none of the above, forced to choose between food or education, medicine or shelter. It isn’t acceptable.

Technology is making everything cheaper than ever before, and more connected. Global conversations on topics like food scarcity and affordable housing are happening every day. Endless opportunities pop up on social media feeds to contribute to crowd-funding campaigns dedicated to someone’s well being. It’s amazing to see people around the world come together like that. But something is wrong with the system when you see a homeless man using his cellphone light to find cigarette butts at the local park.

It’s time to start focusing on the innovation so desperately needed in the areas that provide basic human needs: infrastructure, affordable housing, food security, and environmental research and protection. I applaud research into a basic income by places like Y-Combinator in the United States, nations in Africa and Europe, and the province of Ontario. Even if they prove a failure, this is the kind of thinking we need to encourage as we determine the best, most just way to shape our society.

It’s always been interesting to me that people go to an animal shelter and pick a dog that’s been kicked, beaten, and has maybe lost a leg or an eye, and they’ll take that dog home and give it all the love and support it needs. But we don’t do that with people. Recognizing that every single person’s life circumstances are unique and often times out of their control is the first step towards understanding how you can help.

I volunteer and give back to this community because I want to use my voice and skills to help make a difference. It makes my life better. I think that’s the secret. There is something about being on a mission that is bigger than you, something selfless, one hundred percent giving, that just feels right. It’s gives me a sense of belonging to this community.

Somewhere near you, somebody right now is trying to help those in need: providing food, shelter, clothing or simple kindness. It’s astonishingly simple. Join me and “do-gooders” across our community in recognizing the needs of others today, and consider donating goods to the wish list of local shelter YMCA, or get involved with a youth services organization like oneROOF.

by Katie Parkes

Today Katie is our featured Do Gooder. You can learn more about Katie and join her in doing good at!



The 12 Days Do-Gooders: Update on how people are helping out

December 13, 2012

At House of Friendship for our 12 Days of doing good campaign, we’ve got 12 do-gooders highlighting their good deeds. Here are some of the pictures, words, and videos they’ve been sharing about their journey.

Natalie picNatalie Brown-Kivell is the founder of Common Thread Consulting, a local research and facilitation business that works for social justice and organizational change within not-for-profits and government agencies. She is an active community volunteer and agent of social change, with a passion for decreasing poverty and increasing access to all levels of education. She lives every day trying to live true to her values of equality, building community and collaboration, whether it be with her neighbours, friends and family, community organization or advocating at a broader level. Nothing makes Natalie happier then digging in and making some positive change.  Reflecting on her blog here about her influence as a child she observed

“So now, here I am 20 years later thankful for the opportunity that House of Friendship has provided me and the community, to reflect on the good that we have done, highlight the good we are currently doing, and look closely for the good we can do today.”

JuanitaJuanita Metzger has also been blogging here about her experience, highlighting a different person or organization for each of the 12 days.  The people she highlights are doing many creative things to create some good in their own backyard.  They’re truly an inspiration!  Who is Juanita? She describes herself as a “local community connector. Addicted knitter. Creative, non-linear thinker. Passionate reader. Arts and culture supporter. Compulsive guerilla gardener. Intrepid explorer. Creator of cool goodness. Caped crime preventer with great boots.”  She invites everyone to take part in the 12 Days for Good campaign, stating “simply find something good to do each day until December 21st. Really, not so hard! Feel free to share your good deeds on social media with the hashtag #12daysforgood.”

Jane Barkley has been youtube-ing! Here’s a video she made about visiting the Food Bank of Waterloo Region for Tuesday’s theme of ‘food’.

Could you say no to this face?

Could you say no to this face?


“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” -Immanuel Kant

Karen Scian had a different interpretation of Wednesday’s theme of home or ‘shelter,’ championing the cause of the KW Humane Society and reminding us not to forgot our furry best friends.

As a warning, proceed with caution when looking at the online adoption centre…you may just end up with a new pet.

Carlos SmilingCarlos Benevides hosts the Beat Breakfast with Carlos, Sophie and Dave on 91.5 The Beat weekday mornings from 5:30 to 9:30.  His dream as a child was to talk on the radio. 15 years ago he began living that dream and can’t believe he gets paid to do it. He loves what he does and feels it’s his responsibility to use that platform to make a difference, something we can all do by simply volunteering one day a week for one hour.

This morning, he shared with us the following reflections on his experiences so far:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.  That’s a quote from Gandhi I came across that was part of the inspiration for me start my volunteer initiative 30 Deeds in 30 Days last December.  The goal was simple 1) that there are many organizations in need of volunteers here in Waterloo Region, and 2) to let you know it’s easy to donate your time – even just one day a week for an hour.  Imagine if everyone did one day a week for one hour, what could we do?  How many lives could each of us touch? Just imagine.

That’s why I was flattered and excited to be asked to lend my support and get involved with the House Of Friendship’s 12 Days Of Good. To keep on spreading the message of getting involved and as the title suggest do some good no matter how small the gesture.

Christmas is an incredibly stressful and unhappy time of the year for many people. It doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t be. It should be a time full of happiness as we celebrate all the goodness in our lives, family and friends. I am incredibly lucky. I have a roof over my head, I have food on my table, loved ones that I can rely on, and I have hope that tomorrow will be a better day.  Sadly there are those here in Waterloo Region that aren’t so fortunate.  I met some of those people who are in need yesterday as I delivered Christmas hampers.

My hope is I helped those people I dropped off hampers to have better days today. It’s difficult for me to write what I felt as I made the deliveries, but I’ll try.  I felt a purpose in my life – I was creating a community where no one gets left behind.  Where we all feel like we’re pulling in the same direction and I was building a world that I will leave better off after I’m gone.  I felt a glow in my chest that warmed my entire body. As I gazed into the faces of those men and women, I felt goodness pouring from me as they said thank you. I felt my heart grow.  It was amazing. I gave them food and hope yesterday, but they gave me so much more.

Do some good over the next 12 days and then keep going after that.  Don’t stop.  Lose yourself in the service of others.  Doing so has changed my life, and it can change yours too.

Inspired by this small sampling of how 12 people are taking on the 12 Days for Good challenge? Christmas Hampers are all ready to be delivered, and just waiting for cars that can take them to their homes. Read our page here to get involved.

And, remember to keep tweeting the good deeds you’ve done to us @HOFKW while we continue through day 4 of the #12daysforgood!