As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to be announcing (over the next couple months) the different non-profit organizations that I will be spending time with when I am on the road! I am SUPER excited to share one of the non-profits that I have connected with from Nova Scotia...
THE EMPATHY FACTORY
"The Empathy Factory first delivers a highly motivational and educational workshop on the value of volunteering and giving one's time. We help the students feel the rewards and benefits of giving, and help them tap into their own skills of empathy.
Following the workshop, students are challenged to come up with creative and novel ways of helping their community. Working alone or in teams, the students submit applications with their proposed ideas and are judged based on pre-determined set of criteria (which includes: who will benefit from the project, what they hope to achieve, what resources they'll need etc...)
The children are challenged to think generously and creatively.
To promote what the students are doing, we will be putting ads in various media - this will both motivate the students, and reward them for their efforts. We will also be offering limited funding to the projects (up to $5,000) in order to assure that exceptional ideas are not overlooked because of prohibitive costs.
The Empathy Factory will be in charge of all deliverables for the competition. We will also work hands-on with the youth on the winning ideas (two of which will be selected). Through support, mentorship, empowerment, and funding, the Empathy Factory will ensure that students are successful in their philanthropic project."
I cannot tell you how excited I am to meet this amazing group. I LOVE their idea (so much) and think a program like The Empathy Factory could work wonders in communities across the country. I actually came across their project via twitter and have been in close contact with them ever since. Blair & Stef from The Empathy Factory have been INCREDIBLY supportive of the Roadtrip with Reason and I am so grateful. Totally proving that classic stereotype that people from the East coast are super nice. It seems to be true! Haha.
I am so happy to be able to play a small part in The Empathy Factory this coming summer - they are just in the pilot stages of their project and I cannot wait to watch them grow! Be sure to check out their Facebook page to keep updated on their current student project. So exciting!
Happy trails & travels,
-- Becky xo
P.S. Don't forget to vote vote vote in Pepsi Refresh Canada. It's time for us to hop, skip and jump out of 8th place!!! 4 weeks. 4 spots. PLEASE keep up the support! Love!
"Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be..." -- (K. Ravn)
Just a little inspirational quote to start off the weekend right...
Thanks to ALL of my amazing followers and friends who support me.
LOTS of love,
-- Becky xo
Last night after returning home from my first ever spin class (intense) I decided to stretch out and watch some television. Lately I have been trying to use my r&r time in a productive way, so I decided to head to CBC.ca to catch an episode of The Passionate Eye. As I was scrolling through the list of options a familiar picture caught my eye with an attached title of 65_redroses.
"An unflinching look into the life of Eva Markvoort as she battles a fatal genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF)."
It just so happens that my brothers girlfriend Serena recently completed her reign as the National Chair Person for the Shinerama campaign. Shinerama, as many of you will fondly remember, is Canada's largest post-secondary fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. Not too long ago she sent me a request to "Like" a page on Facebook regarding Eva's story and Oprah. I read about it, liked the page and then got entangled in my own life....
Fast forward to last night. I watched the 42 minute special on Eva: a spunky twenty-something who is fighting with CF while awaiting new lungs. It is a truly beautiful story, one that is full of love, hope, struggle, support and honesty.
After the documentary was over I checked out the website which then led me to Eva's blog. It turns out that she had recorded her struggle (from 2006 to 2010) with CF on a livejournal account - every difficult moment, every fear and every celebration - I began reading. Obviously I wasn't able to read ALL of her posts, but by the end of the night I had laughed out loud, shed many tears and felt like Eva Markvoort had changed me a little bit on the inside.
I am 23 year-old who is healthy - I have an amazing support system - I have big dreams for the future - I have never tragically lost a friend. This incredible life of mine makes it very difficult for me to imagine living with a fatal disease where I struggle with every single breath...or the heartbreak and frusturation of receiving a second chance only to have it fail...or watching a close friend or loved one deteriorate from such an awful disease.
I sat in my bed last night desperately trying to sleep, but I just couldn't get over the intense feelings that were overtaking my mind -utterly grateful, driven, full of love, and luck.
Life is so precious and beautiful. Eva's amazing spirit and story has reminded me to just love, love, love and love fiercely.
I urge you to watch the documentary, check out the website, LIKE the facebook page, become an organ donor and spread your love...
Happy trails & travels,
-- Becky xoxo
Today, as I am sure you are aware, is Valentine's Day. I realize it it a pretty silly day - corporate scam bla bla bla - but I personally think it's nice to have a day devoted to LOVE. There is so many sad/terrible things in this world that we hear/see/talk about on a daily basis....consumerism aside, isn't it nice to have a day where everyone is talking about/thinking about/celebrating love? I don't even have a special valentine this year and I am not bothered by it one bit (pinky promise). The Valentine's Day focus should not only be about a significant other (or lack there of), it should be about celebrating ALL of the things that make your heart happy.
So in honour of this special day I have decided to compile a random list of 14 THINGS that I LOVEEEEEEEEE:
proud parents @ my post-grad-uation
1) Papa C & Mama Lu
My incredible, supportive, silly, loving, and fun parents. I wouldn't really know what love is without them. Plus, they are grade-school sweethearts and a super cute pair.
i wish this was scratch & sniff
I am a major fan of campfires. I would seriously love to bottle the smell and spray everything/everyone I know with it. Growing up, I spent many summers camping with the folks and my brother (James) in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My happiest place would probably be described as sitting in front of a campfire - enjoying the company, roasting marshmallows, looking at the stars and feeling totally relaxed.
3) This photo
This might seem like a strange choice but I seriously love this photo of my pal Jordan. It was taken on New Years day a couple years ago and this was his face after being "banished" from the rest of us (I can't remember why though). It always cracks me up and fills my head with fond memories of the 'old' days.
our last day at bcp
4) Bronte Creek Project
When I was in Grade 12 I spent my first semester with a program called the Bronte Creek Project. It was by far one of the best (if not the best) choices I have ever made. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to take part in such a life changing educational experience. Love!
These two amazing girls have been mentioned in my last two posts so I don't think much more needs to be said. Deniz & Ana are such special best friends and I love them with my whole heart.
holding my breath
6) Taking Leaps
Sometimes it can be really, really terrifying to take a leap. Whether it is quitting a job you hate, moving on from an unhealthy relationship, speaking your mind or jumping out of a plane.....these things are scary. I made the decision to take as many leaps as necessary this year and to not let fear of ANYTHING hold me back from achieving my dreams. The Roadtrip with Reason is going to be one heck of a leap for me but I am so up for the challenge!
86 years young!
7) My Grandparents
They are another special pair that I have been lucky enough to havearound my entire life. 86 years and counting! I couldn't be more grateful for the overwhelming amount of love they showered me with.
8) Enjoying the view
Autumn is my absolute favourite season. The colourful leaves and crisp air always leave me feeling so joyful. In general I just love recognizing the smells/sights of my surroundings. There is something so special in taking a moment for yourself to just soak it all up and appreciate the beauty of wherever you are. I think I learned how to really do this back in my Bronte Creek Days when we were given time to spend in our magic spot (mine was on a rock in the middle of the creek) and reflect on our day.
Bonks & Tonks back in the day
9) This Girl
Katryna! Treens! Cobs! Tonks! She is my other best friend and full of laughs. Her and I are more like sisters than friends. We have WAY too many inside jokes to count and I wouldn't have it any other way. Someone told us once that we are like two 12 year-old girls when we hang out and it is so very true. FULL of giggles, always. All I have to say is "What's wrong with your feet?"...
I LOVE the fact that there are so many opportunities out there for me (& everyone else). I feel like life is one big open road and I get excited by the idea that you just never know what kind of gem you are going to come across! I am so grateful to have the kind of life where the opportunities are endless...
way too excited
I am a huge fan of traditions - whether it's christmas morning, our competitive easter egg hunt or yearly events that I attend with friends - they are something that is very important to me. One of my favourite traditions is going to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival with my oldest friend Danielle & our moms. We have been doing this since early childhood and it is something that I look forward to every single year.
Hey Rosetta doing their thing
12) Live Performance
I love attending concerts, plays, musicals and dance performances SO MUCH. The arts have played a major role in my life and I find so much joy sitting in the audience (or backstage) and watching people put their heart & souls into their pieces. I studied Theatre Production in University which has given me a greater understanding of how intense these crafts are. I respect performers so much and am always amazed by their skill!
13) Social Media
I admit that sometimes social media frusturates me. I wish that people would put down their phones, quit updating their statuses and enjoy living in the moment for once BUT I am also amazed by the community of people out there. Twitter has been so helpful with the planning process for the Roadtrip with Reason. It has connected me to strangers, organizations and places AND has inspired me. There are so many amazing people out there doing amazing things that I never would've known about if it wasn't for social media. For that very reason I love, love, love it!
silly girls at the jays game
Who doesn't LOVE being silly? (Lots of people, actually) but I am not one of those people at all. Being silly means that I am not taking life too seriously. I love laughing and I love making people laugh. I figure if I am only going to be on this earth for 100 years (+/-) then I do not see the point in being too serious. Life is about having fun and doing what makes you happy and accomplishing your goals and dreams. I am going to do all of those things while being as silly as possible.
Phew! There you have it - 14 things that make my heart happy! I could keep adding to this list but my late lunchtime is over and it's back to the 'real world' for me.
SPREAD THE LOVE! Big hugs!
-- Becky xo
I had a spectacular Saturday because the Powerpuffers came for a visit! We chit chatted for hours, dranks lots of tea, enjoyed a delicious dinner out (homemade garlic salad dressing included...vampires beware), terrorized the town on our stroll home (hah!) and indulged in adorable birthday cupcakes!
I went to bed with a big smile on my face and slept like an angel until my neighbour decided to start doing some kind of construction this morning. Usually this infuriates me (yes, this happens often) but this morning I just got out of bed and got right to work. Today I am feeling absolutely invigorated by this project. The more I read (/hear/see), the more inspired I become by the passionate people who are doing COOL things in this country. It really warms my heart.
I AM JUST SO EXCITED!!! What a splendid Sunday!!
Anyway, I KNOW I missed Tune-eee Tuesday this week (fail.fail.fail.) so I wanted to quickly share with you my current musical obsession. The Gertrudes from Kingston, Ontario. Enjoy!!
Wishing you all a splendid Sunday!
-- Becky xo
I have been searching for this photo for almost an entire year and I finally found it! That is 16 year-old Becky (me!) at the Lemon-Aid stand myself and another friend organized one summer.
I had read in our local newspaper (the Oakville Beaver) that there was a little girl named Tamya Peralto who had been suffering from high risk stage IV neuroblastoma (cancer) since the age of 3. Her family was seeking financial assistance from the community because there was a treatment in the U.S. that was not covered by OHIP (due to its experimental nature) but had the potential to save her life. After discussing ideas with my friend Ryan, we decided to hold a Lemon-Aid stand in front of an empty grocery store at a busy intersection in Oakville, ON to raise funds towards Tamya's treatment.
With the help of some other friends, we spent a couple days selling lemonade to curious and compassionate community members. I also made a lemon sign (in the picture) that I enjoyed dancing around in to draw attention to our little stand.
In the end, we raised about $500 and were able to donate that towards the cause. Many people held events in the GTA for Tamya at the same time and enough money was raised to help her with treatments. I didn't find out about this until last year, but sadly in 2007 (age of 9) she passed away. Ouch.
About six months after our efforts, I received a beautiful hand-written note from Tamya's mom -
""I would also like to say how much we all appreciate what Becky has done for Tamya. Her thoughfulness in going beyond her school and into her community, our community, seeking to raise funds for out "little princess" Tamya brought tears to my eyes. It made us feel very comforted to know that there are still people out there who care unconditionally for others. You, becky, have done a wonderful job instilling values and morals in Tamya."
Giving back is not about recognition. However after the entire experience and then receiving the letter, it solidified the fact that that silly little Lemon-Aid stand changed my life. From that point on, I was aware of how good it feels to give back and how important it is to do so and how precious life truly is. Although I didn't realize it until a couple years later, that Lemon-Aid stand was absolutely a turning point for me.
Anyway, that is my little tale about the photo. I am so, so happy that I finally discovered it. Just as I cherish the memories, and the letter, this photo will forever remind me of why *it* all matters.
Happy Friday! Hope your weekends of full of fun!
Lots of LOVE,
-- Becky xo
Happy Weekend! I am not feeling 100% today so I decided to stay in and medicate myself the best way I know how.
I received another great book during the holidays - The Canada Chronicles. A Four-Year Hitchhiking Odyssey - it was written by Matthew Jackson, a Canadian journalist who quit his job and thumbed his way across Canada for four years (1997 - 2000).
Has anyone else heard about this before? Or read it?
I am a hundred pages in and am enjoying it so far. He has some pretty hilarious stories to share about his adventure, and some heart-warming ones as well. I used to dream about hitchhiking but as a 'young woman' (& admittedly naive), I haven't ever taken the leap. Maybe one day when I have some kind of partner in crime to come with.....or not? (Don't worry Dad!) Haha. Either way, his book is really adding to my excitement for my own trip which is only 6ish months away. As a solo traveller (unless you would like to join me) there is a little bit of nervousness and apprehension about the whole experience - will people be friendly, welcoming and helpful? OR will they be uninterested and just plain mean?! Hah!
I highly doubt that I will come across that kind of attitude very often. This week alone I have been contacted by total strangers offering me suggestions on not-for-profits in their communities, things to do, places to eat and even their couches to sleep on! Thank you twitter!
I wanted to share a little excerpt from the book with you. It comes from Chapter 3, titled " Crossroads", just as he is finished giving his backstory and his about to hit the
"Ultimately, my decision to follow an unlikely dream has resulted in this book, eight years after the idea was first conceived. My primary hope is that it may restore some of that essential faith we seem to have lost in humanity, something we are in great need of right now, especially as the world's media seems bent on dissecting only the details of tragedy. Moreover, I hope that you will enjoy the book for its stories about Canadians, as well as for its humour, adventure and candour, and that it may inspire some of you to pursue your own passions.
Dare to dream big. Dare to laugh hard. At some point in life we, like Robert Frost, must all face a path diverging at the edge of a wood. May you choose your path wisely and may it make all the difference in your own life."
That is all for now! If you haven't already, please feel free to 'like' our journey on Facebook or join our e-mailing list...
Happy trails & travels,
-- Becky xo
What is this?
Welcome! My name is Becky. I took a roadtrip across Canada, from July to November 2011. This roadtrip was a special one though, because it had reason!