Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Feels good to give back...

From a young age I have seen my mother get involved with all sorts of organizations, organising fundraisers, events, helping others that were not as fortunate as herself and I always admired the effort she put into it. Now that I'm all grown up, I guess I'm following in her footsteps. I work for a non-profit organization (which I will get to shortly), I volunteer for non-profit organizations on my free time.. so I guess you can say, my life is pretty much dedicated to helping others.

La Soiree One Drop in NYC
Of course, my true passion rests in events, not actually attending them, but organising them. The joy I get from organising an event can be as strong as a tennis player winning their match, a baseball player scoring a homerun or a hockey player making the breakaway goal that allows his/her team to win the game! It's a true passion. I can stay up late just thinking of the different things I can come up with, I dig through my brain, trying to find creative ways to get out of messes, think of every single detail that entails organising an event.. and I just can't get enough of it. Now, I'm lucky enough to be part of the Cirque du Soleil family, working for the One Drop foundation which was started by Cirque founder Guy Laliberte.  At One Drop, we work on 3 main projects. First, we work on water projects around the world, helping build infrastructures for countries who don't have clean running water, we also have projects of awareness for these Third-World countries where we put up shows and circus acts showing the population how to be careful with water, to not drink unsafe water, to treat unsafe water. We also work on awareness projects in developed countries, showing the population how to be careful with the water we have, to not waste, to not buy water bottles, but water gourds instead, to not run the water when brushing your teeth, but only use it when necessary. And the third project we work on are the One Drop fundraising events, which is the team I'm part of. Basically, all the money we use for the 2 others, we get it from these events.

La Soiree One Drop is a dazzling benefit event that allows guests to enjoy a Cirque show, along with a pre-show cocktail and post-show party! We have 6 of these a year. This year, we taking NYC, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, Paris and Las Vegas by storm. So, lets just say, that until Dec 3, I will be QUITE busy! Chances are that I might even move to the West Coast for the month of November, for the LA and Vegas events. I will be responsible for ticket sales, communications with the donors, party planning (my favorite!) and relations with the Cirque for the Vegas event. A dream job I must say. Well for anyone that knows me well, they know this is exactly the right thing for me.

My 2010 Dragon Boat team!
As for the other fundraisers I am involved in, I'm also captain of a dragon boat team for I'm on a Boat! for the Cedars Cancer Institute. We are a team of 20, raising money for Cansupport, a programme that helps cancer patients and their families deal with the disease. We need to raise $10,000 to race and every year, we have events to raise money from happy hours to poker events to corn roasts and we also have the advantage of being on a team with people working in different companies, so we get these companies to help us raise the funds we need. It always a very fun experience and I love doing it. It's my 3rd year as captain of my team and I hope to be involved with this cause for a long time!

The 3rd foundation I'm involved with is the Starlight Foundation, which is like the Make-A-Wish foundation, helping children with terminally ill diseases have a better life. To me, there is nothing more sad than a child who can't be a kid and I guess this is why I get involved. I am lucky enough to have a pretty good life and I think everyone should have that right. For the Starlight Foundation, me along with Anick Beaulieu, are organising a Halloween event at the Loft Hotel on Oct 28. Starlight, star bright, dress up as your favorite star tonight" is the slogan of our evening. So of course, the theme is Hollywood Glamour! We will have a great DJ, a candy bar, open bar, photographers and tons of more things we are still working on! We will really make this a night to remember and we hope that all you young professional ones will be there to support this fabulous cause. More details to come soon!

If you are interested in donating to any of the causes mentioned, please see their websites below:

- ONE DROP - http://www.onedrop.org/ 
You can even join the Youth One Drop facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/onedropyouth
- Get more information about the Starlight Foundation - http://www.starlightcanada.org/

You know, if you can't give any money, give your time to help others... It is the most gratifying feeling in the world! There is an Arab proverb that says: “If you have much, give of your wealth; If you have little, give of your heart” :)

N.

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