We are living in a time of great social responsibility where individuals, business and corporate entities are coming to recognise that reaching out to others is not only a positive statement in the community, but the little nugget of “giving” leaves a feeling of purpose that is deposited into your psyche.
With so many charities and not-for-profit organisations in the world, how does one choose where to deposit that nugget?
I think it comes down to one simple word – “RESONATE”- for whatever reason, perhaps a life experience, a chance meeting with someone, or a feeling of aligning to a cause or belief – there has to be a ‘resonation’ like a musical note that sits comfortably in your heart.
Here is what happened for me…
An uncanny series of events lined up over the course of my life to produce a note that resonated to the point of action.
I was born into the world of caravans, with my father having started Millard Caravans back in the 1950’s, etching this symbolic icon well into my psyche. In my late 20’s I had an experience with a homeless man crossing Oxford St in Sydney who spoke with such intention in his words that has left an indelible impression on me since. In my 30’s, I volunteered to spend two months on the road photo-documenting homeless youth on a cattle drive program run by Father Chris Riley’s organisation, Youth Off the Streets.
I have been an avid supporter of the sustainable food movement and teaching kids the importance of growing and cooking their own food. My belief has always been that through learning to respect food we will also learn to respect each other.
And so, during a chance meeting a friend asked me what I was doing these days and I replied… “I’m starting a business called Seed it Up with the intention of assisting not-for-profit humanitarian organisations – but I still haven’t found the right organisation.”
Instantly my friend said you must speak with Jodie Tiernan who runs the Carevan Foundation, (whom as it happened, I had met many years earlier).
I sat down and read the Carevan story and was completely blown away at the many connections I saw before me and knew that this connection was “meant to be”… there it was, the ‘musical note’!
I arranged to go and spend some time with Jodie in Albury and meet the founder of Carevan, John Brabant. We visited the schools that run the ‘kids cooking and caring program’, braced the cold with the Carevan volunteers, and witnessed the respect the folks in need had for Jodie and the rest of the Carevan community. It was a very levelling experience!
It struck me that everyone has a story, and for those of us who are lucky we get to share our story, but for many the stories go unheard.
By Carevan’s very existence a bridge is built so that many of these stories can be told. The message is simple; they dare to care, creating a sense of belonging for those who are disenfranchised or less fortunate.
Congratulations if you have already found your ‘musical note’ and for those that have not yet found it – be mindful, the resonance is waiting.
Thanks to Carevan for my little nugget experience .