Charity is Not the Antidote to Over-Consumption

Stuff. I've written about how it tends to pile up, how our society seems designed to get us to accumulate more and more, and how it can become a burden. For many of us, one solution to this is to 'purge'. We go through our closets and basements and cupboards and get rid of stuff [...]

We’re Not Starting from Zero: Southern Alberta Floods of 2013

Here in my province, there was epic flooding in the month of June, resulting in widespread damage and evacuations in many communities. The downtown area of one of our biggest cities was actually underwater for long periods. Many people were hit hard by these events, suffering extensive damage to their homes and possessions. The outpouring [...]

How To be More Help Than Hindrance: Southern Alberta Floods of 2013

Here in my province, there was epic flooding in the month of June, resulting in widespread damage and evacuations in many communities. The downtown area of one of our biggest cities (Calgary) was actually underwater. Those of us living in Edmonton, less than 4 hours away, felt a personal connection to this. Most of us [...]

How Soon is “Too Soon”?: Southern Alberta Floods of 2013

Here in my province, there was epic flooding in the month of June, resulting in widespread damage and evacuations in many communities. The downtown area of one of our biggest cities was actually underwater for long periods. Many reacted by expressing moral support and by giving money to aid in the relief efforts. Some, however, [...]

Be the Squeaky Wheel

In a recent interview about a documentary dealing with hunger in the U.S., the filmmaker quoted a lawmaker who said that if he hears from just 6 people on an issue, it changes how he votes on it. Sometimes, the stuff we need is just there for the taking Our elected representatives do [...]

The Price of Rice in China

When I was a kid and argued with my dad, if I made an irrelevant point, he would shut me down with, "Sure, but what does that have to do with the price of rice in China?" Right now on my Facebook page, there's an ad for a bike ride against cancer. And I think [...]

You’re Better Than You Think You Are

It has been my great privilege lately to interview interesting local folks for the Edmonton Do Gooder Project, and I've noticed a bit of a trend. Many of them struggle with this interview question: "What makes this issue/area the best fit for you personally?" In their answers, I want to hear what appeals to them [...]

Doing Daily Good

I recently found myself chatting with a woman who's working hard as a palliative care nurse and at raising three children, among other things. She's doing as much as she can to be positive and productive in her day-to-day life, but feels guilty about not also doing more charitable giving. This, I think, is a [...]

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round?

Over the past week, one of the biggest stories in the news and on social media is that of Karen, the bullied bus monitor. Karen is an elderly school bus monitor in New York state. A video was posted to YouTube of her charges being especially hurtful, taunting her pretty mercilessly. This provoked an outpouring [...]

The Value of Volunteer Time

Basic economics says that price and supply and demand are all related. The more supply there is of something, the less you can charge for it. So when there's something that's free and in good supply, why would anyone pay for it? Which brings us to volunteer work. It's a good thing; free labour we [...]