Giving the Gift of Time

Like many people, I sometimes complain about how social media can bring out the worst in people.  But social media also brings out the very best in us.  I’ve seen it Danny Brown‘s remarkable 12for12K campaign, in the two Twestivals I’ve attended in Vancouver – and in the latest charitable event that’s happening this Thursday, September 24th at the Roundhouse in Yaletown – the second Vancouver Timeraiser.

Timeraiser was started in 2002 by a group of friends who wanted to find meaningful, relevant volunteer opportunities in their home community.  Seven years and 10 Timeraisers later, the initiative has grown into an annual event that operates in six cities across Canada.

It’s a charity with a twist, using a silent art auction to raise not money, but something equally as valuable.  Time.  That precious commodity we all have so little of, and is so desperately needed by cultural, social and health agencies that are chronically short of volunteers.

Participants meet with representatives from more than 25 diverse agencies – including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Operation Eyesight, Special Olympics and the Urban Native Youth Association – and match their skills to the needs of the organizations.  Once attendees determine where they want to get involved, they bid anywhere from 20-125 volunteer hours on artwork by some of Vancouver’s most talented emerging artists.  Winning bidders then have 12 months to complete their pledge before they receive the artwork as a reminder of their goodwill.

It’s a unique concept, and it’s captured the imagination of many across the country.  So far, Timeraisers have prompted 3,600 Canadians to volunteer, generated more than 45,000 volunteer hours for some 250 different charities, and invested $300,000 in the careers of cutting-edge artists.

Admission is $20.  I’m going to attend.  I haven’t volunteered in years.  It’s about time I did.  After all, I belong here now:-)

How about you?   For more info, or to register, visit the Timeraiser site here.

A Bit of an Update

Well, we made it through the Hump Month of August, and did just about everything we set out to accomplish.

We managed to get our Ottawa house on the market – and it sold in mere days for the full asking price!  Miraculous!!

And I went back to Vancouver on September 1st and found a place to live – the main level of a little bungalow right in the Main Street neighborhood I’ve come to love so much.

Next steps – I fly back to Ottawa this coming weekend and supervise the packing and the move – and the most wonderful thing – I get to see the nice guys from 1-800-GotJunk drive away with a truckload of STUFF:-)  I’ll be a happy camper when that’s all done.

Then we close the house on the 30th, pay our bills and start a new chapter.

My husband Dave and I will begin a drive across Canada around October 2nd in plenty of time to meet the moving van at our new digs.  It’s a first for both of us and we’re very excited!  I’m hoping to meet up with fellow bloggers and Twitterers as we go…and of course, write about our impressions of a part of Canada that we’ll discover together.  I’ll be tweeting our destinations, so you all have an idea of where we’ll be stopping.

Praying for lots and lots of good Internet and cell coverage!

Wish us luck – and hope to meet many of you along the way.

In the meantime, though, I need to post a few more blogs this week to make up for lost time!