Giving is an act of courage

This year’s United Way/Centraide Ottawa campaign theme, “simple courage … to believe in what’s possible,” deeply resonates with the experiences I have had working as a counsellor and program coordinator across a variety of social service organizations and with many different populations.

Having worked in support roles with individuals effecting major life changes, I have been honoured to bear witness to their very private acts of simple courage.

The stories are many of mothers rescuing themselves and their children from poverty and violence; of new Canadians leaving behind successful careers and established homes, escaping social and political persecution to humbly begin anew; of individuals young and old bravely adapting every aspect of their life in the face of disability; of children defiantly enriching themselves and their minds in the absence of basic provisions—these experiences remind me to be courageous in my own life.

Becoming a part of Carleton University’s United Way/Centraide Campaign team represented less of a formal decision and more of a natural progression in both my personal and professional life. Anyone who has given knows full-well that “selfless” acts are inherently infused with private meaning and purpose.

My own path from a child in need to an adult privileged with all that I need to sustain my family and better the lives of my children, has engendered in me not just a passion, but also an obligation to give.

It is my hope that each and every member of our university community finds personal inspiration in this year’s campaign, to demonstrate simple courage and to give what they are able towards the growth and development of all members of our larger community, especially to those most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Dawn Legault
2007 Campaign Chair
Carleton University United Way/
Centraide Campaign

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