Day 248: Voice of reason

singingintherainYou know that little voice you hear from time to time telling you to stand up straight or bring your umbrella or call your mom? (The voice for that last one might actually be your mom’s.)

That’s what this blog has become for me.

Today, for example, I had to sign in as a visitor at a high-rise building. Normally, I might not even look up from the sign-in sheet.

But that little voice cried out loud and clear. And it said, “Look up you bozo, that is a human being sitting there!”

And sure enough, it was. So I said hello, asked how her day was going and we had a short but very nice chat.

I know so many people who do that kind of thing automatically, without having to pause or think about it. I’m sad to say, I’m not one of them.

Don’t even know if I’ll ever get that good at it.

But I will keep practicing ….

UNICEF's Bilaal Rajaan in Malawi.
UNICEF Canada's Bilaal Rajaan in Malawi.

Everyday hero day

This is one of the youngest — and busiest — everyday heroes I’ve included so far. When I heard him interviewed on the radio this morning, I couldn’t believe how much he’d accomplished to help others at the tender age of 12.

Very humbling, really. Here’s only a small part of his amazing story:

Bilaal Rajan, 12, has been raising money to help those in need since the age of four. His first fundraising effort involved selling clementine oranges door to door to help the 2001 earthquake victims in Gujarat, India. He raised $350.

His next target was global poverty (this kid thinks BIG) and he helped raise more than $50,000 for The World Partnership Walk and convinced the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to match that figure dollar for dollar.

Bilaal then went on to support the ravaged island of Haiti after the hurricane of 2004. He knew his $10 allowance would not be sufficient to help on the scale he had in mind, so he asked his father’s company to donate boxes of cookies to sell at school recess. Bilaal formed a team of 12 other children to help. They raised $6,387.

UNICEF Canada was so impressed with Bilaal’s achievements, they named him their official child spokesperson.

When the South East Asian earthquake and tsunami disaster hit in 2004, Bilaal issued a UNICEF Canada Kids Earthquake Challenge urging Canadian children to raise a minimum of $100 each to achieve a total goal of $1 million.

He also made a personal pledge to raise $10,000. Incredibly enough, he was able to personally raise $50,000. As a result, on January 14, 2005, the Toronto District School Board presented Bilaal and the President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, with a cheque for $1.3 million. The Government of Canada then matched this, making the final donation nearly $4 million!

Wow, just wow.


3 thoughts on “Day 248: Voice of reason

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