Making a Difference this Giving Season

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Making a Difference this Giving Season
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About the Author

Brad Park

Brad Park

Brad Park is the CEO of the United Way of Oakville. Prior to that he was the executive director of Brant United Way. He has his Bachelor of Arts in Management and Economics from the University of Guelph.

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It always surprises me how quickly the holiday season arrives. With holiday parties, gift shopping and year end business to tie up, it’s certainly a busy time for many. But it shouldn’t be a stressful time. This time of year gives us the opportunity to reflect, to spend time with both neighbours and strangers, to celebrate good fortune and to help those with less.

Here are a few tips I have discovered to help fill your holiday season with meaning and joy.

Reflect & share
Chances are you’ve helped out at a charity event, made a donation or helped someone who needed support. Why not spread the good cheer by sending a note to that charity or by sharing your experience with your co-workers?

Make it a family affair
We always make our charitable contributions in December and two years ago my wife and I wanted our kids to be involved. It’s quickly become a tradition to discuss how to give back over a family dinner. I’m proud to say that my daughters have come up with some pretty unique suggestions.

Give what you can
The holidays can be a stressful time with a lot of pressure to spend. Feel good about giving what you can to charities, whether that is your money or your time. Trust me, we appreciate everything!

Do your research
It’s important to know where your money is going. Before you make a donation spend some time looking at a non-profit’s mission, annual report and impact. All information should be easy to find on a website, or set up a meeting with a staff member to ask questions.

We all give back for different reasons and in different ways, so find what works for you. I hope this year you are able to be mindful in your giving and wish you a wonderful holiday season.

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