All good things must come to an end….or do they? #12daysforgood

Today is the final day of the #12daysforgood campaign. It sort of feels like the let down syndrome people always say you get after you get married. What is next? How will I go on? …ok that is a little dramatic. But in all honesty this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Today’s theme is to celebrate the good so this blog will highlight some of my favorite moments from my 12 days as well as those from all of the other fabulous DoGooders.

 

12 deeds felt like an overwhelming number at the beginning of this experience. But the process of consciously looking for deeds in your family, neighbourhood and community actually ends up making you see them everywhere, both large and small. Whether it be bringing lunch over to a neighbour, saying hello to people as you walk down the street, or being there for a friend in need we all do (or could do) good deeds everyday. So for me the #12daysforgood does not end tonight, and it no longer feels overwhelming. It is instead a fabulous way to live our lives constantly keeping our eyes out for people who are in need or issues in our community and our world that we can engage with.

 

A professor once told me that if you are going to do good, or have positive (non co-dependent) relationships you have to ask yourself three questions before you act.

1)   Have you been ASKED for help

2)   Are you ABLE to help; and

3)   Do you WANT to help

This advice has stuck with me in the long haul. I always try to do EVERYTHING and as we all know this can lead to burnout or disengagement. So keeping these questions in my brain as I look around my community has helped me to see the places that I can fit in either with my skill or my passion to do good in the community. The answer to each othese questions for each of my deeds was a resounding YES! (minus the being asked part…but what is a good deed is someone has to ask for it!). So for me this does not end tonight and I hope to keep what I have learned to continue to do the most good I can in my community, and continue to engage those around me whether it be family, friends or neighbours to continue the gift of giving back!

 

All of that being said here are a few of my favorite moments from my #12daysforgood

 

1)   Food hamper competition family style!

2)   Engaging my neighbours in a collective good deed.

3)   Meeting and/or spending time with other incredible Do Gooders like Jane, Juanita, John, Christine, Alison and Taryn.

4)   Doing good with all of the people I love, while creating incredible lasting memories!

 

My favorite moments that really inspired me from some of the other fantastic DoGooders include

 

1)   Gathering the DoGooders for “community” yoga with Juanita!

2)   Watching folks engage their kids in the efforts! Like Jane did on Day #3 the gift of shelter 

3)   Hearing about how #12daysforgood provided the opportunity for folks to engage where they otherwise would not have!

4)   The unlikely relationships that have blossomed!

 

Thanks House of Friendship! None of this could have happened without you, and it will go down in history as one of my favorite holiday seasons from all of the joy and giving that has been happening in my home and in our community! Three Cheers for HoF! Can’t wait to do it again next year!


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“There are many words to describe Natalie Brown – passionate, energetic, skilled, good-natured, committed, accountable – but when I think of my experience working with Natalie as we developed the Center for Community Research, Learning and Action at Wilfrid Laurier University, one word stands out: integrity. Natalie is of “sound construction”. She approaches community practice with honesty, solid principles, and a genuineness that is unmatched. She works hard, cares deeply about the work and she values relationships above all else. I could always count on her to get things done right and with care. I certainly wish there were two of Natalie so I could leave one in Kitchener-Waterloo and bring one to work with me at my new home at the University of Miami. She’s a fantastic community researcher and action partner and I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to replace her.”
by Dr. Scot Evans, Professor at the University of Miami