It is Saturday, the day we celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
At the Calgary Counselling Centre where I am working as the Interim Director of Communications one of the staff came to me last week with an article from the Calgary Herald. “That’s my daughter,” she said proudly, pointing to the name she’d highlighted in the text. I understand her pride. Her daughter, Shahr Savizi, is the Fund Development Coordinator for the Calgary office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. And she is working tirelessly to organize the Foundation’s upcoming event, The Heart Truth Fashion Show which will be held on September 22. Along with the Foundation’s amazing VP of Fund Development, Jennifer Diakiw (who also sits on the Board of the Counselling Centre), Shahr is engaging women, and men, in heart and stroke awareness through unique and inspiring ways — in this case, a fashion show featuring 11 red dresses created by 11 top Calgary designers. Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 cause of death for Canadian women. It’s important we pay attention to our hearts!
Shahr Savizi, Jennifer Diakiw, the designers and models participating in The Heart Truth Fashion Show and everyone at the Heart and Stroke Foundation are heroes.
Last month, Dr. John Rook took over leadership of The Calgary Homeless Foundation from the indefatigable Tim Richter. Over the past 4 and a half years, Tim has led the Foundation in implementation of Calgary’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. They’ve made enormous progress, created significant changes in how and what we do to serve people experience, or at risk of the human crisis of homelessness. Tim is moving on to lead the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. Like Tim, John is tireless in his commitment to make a difference in the lives of those living on the margins of our society, those for whom disease, addictions, family circumstances and life’s travails have left them struggling to find their way back home. We can change the face of homelessness in our city.
We can make a difference and people like John and Tim and all the staff at the Calgary Foundation and the agencies who have united together to make the Ten Year Plan a reality by ensuring every Calgary finds their way home are heroes.
Last week I wrote about the United Way’s kick-off and my delight in presenting to the Campaign Associates. I am always in awe, and inspired by, the work of the United Way and all the agencies that make a difference to the lives of every Calgarian and all across Canada. As United Way campaigns kick-off all across Canada, I am reminded once again of the importance of working together, of being united in our vision of making the world a better place for everyone. No one can do it alone. We must all work together.
The United Way of Calgary and Area is filled with heroes. From Lucy Miller, President and CEO to Adyam Sendek, Speaker Bureau’s Coordinator, to each campaign associate and administrative assistant and director and fact finder and researcher…, there is not one person at the United Way who is not committed to making a difference. You are all heroes.
Tandy Balson has been a Big Sister for several years. She gives tirelessly to her little sister, her family, and to the Choices family, the personal development course where she and her husband both volunteer every month to assist in Choices founder, Thelma Box’s, vision to Change the world one heart at a time. Next week, Tandy will be the Sunday Guest Blogger telling us about what it means to give back.
Today and everyday, Tandy is a hero.
Last Saturday I wrote about one of my heroes, Donna Mae DePola. Tomorrow, I’m sharing a conversation I had with her yesterday on the phone. Please do come back and check it out. She’s amazing and you will be enthralled by her sense of humour and her candor.