Timeraiser is back in Edmonton on Saturday, October 15, the third year Timeraiser has come to our city! Last year’s event was a big success, with over 250 Edmontonians in attendance to pledge more than 4000 hours of volunteer service. A total of $10,000 was paid to artists, and 18 of the 20 pieces went for the maximum bid amount of 125 hours.
If you’re new to Timeraiser, here’s what the event aims to accomplish:
The Timeraiser is part volunteer fair, part silent art auction and part night on the town. Throughout the evening, meet with different agencies and match your skills to their needs. Once you have made your matches, you are eligible to bid on artwork. The big twist is rather than bid money, you bid volunteer hours. If you have the winning bid, you have 12 months to complete your pledge before bringing the artwork home as a reminder of your good will.
It’s a great opportunity to connect with local organizations and fellow volunteers! Since 2002 there have been 28 events across Canada, with 93,000 volunteer hours pledged and $495,890 invested into the careers of emerging artists.
WHAT: 3rd Edmonton Timeraiser
WHEN: Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: TransAlta Arts Barns, 10330 84 Avenue (map)
WHY: To raise 4000 community hours for local organizations!
Click here to register!
You can see the event on ShareEdmonton here.
A shot of last year’s Timeraiser in Edmonton!
Win two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies!
Last year WestJet became the presenting sponsor of Timeraiser, and to celebrate they gave away two tickets in each city. They’re doing it again this year, and I am once again fortune enough to be hosting the contest for Edmonton! To enter, simply leave a comment below with the answer to this question:
What was your most memorable volunteer experience in Edmonton?
It might be an experience you had volunteering for an event or cause, or maybe a volunteer made your day when you attended something. Check out last year’s contest for inspiration!
The contest closes at 11pm on October 13. The top ten responses will be chosen and the winner will be randomly selected from that group and announced on October 14. Full contest rules and regulations are available here.
Don’t miss Edmonton’s 3rd Timeraiser on October 15! You can keep up with Timeraiser on Facebook and Twitter.
UPDATE: Apologies for the delay in making this announcement, but congratulations to Robyn! Her comment is here. Timeraiser Edmonton 3 was a success with 4195 hours raised!
16 thoughts on “Timeraiser Edmonton 3 and WestJet Giveaway!”
Although it sounds like I was given a bad wrap when my daughter was diagnosed at the age of 18 months with brain cancer, I truly believe it was a gift. She is now 20 years old and has totally changed my perspective and enjoyment of life. I try as hard to be a respectful person in everything I do. I am definately appreciative of all that have assisted me in maintaining my sanity through the journey. I show my appreciation by keeping a positive outlook and know every person has their own story and stresses and to honor them by listening and understanding their situations and live in ‘their shoes’ for if only for a moment. Living in the moment by giving what I can give at the time and not expecting anything in return. It is truly a wonderful experience. I ran out of gas once and a young man on a bicycle. He offered to find a gas station and get me some gas. I gave him $20 and off he went to get me gas. Another gentleman stopped and I told him about the young man and he said ‘ I do not think that man is coming back’ He drove me to a gas station and I got some gas. When I came back there was the young man waiting for me. He couldnt find a gas station but came to return the money. I asked him if I could do anything for him and he said he needed a ride to East Edmonton. I said fine. While we were driving he told me ‘his story’. It was a very very sad story. He was not very old, maybe 20 years old and he has been through everything. Abduction, drugs, abuse. He had no trust left in him. I was honoured he felt he could trust me. He was homeless. I could not offer him a place to stay but I fed him and gave him a very small amount of money. I told him about Socail Services and that if he told them his story they will help him some way. I never heard from him again until I myself was looking for a job. I was in a course to improve your interview skills and there he was. He was cleaned up, more confident and I knew he would be okay.. I was so lucky that our ships passed. It may not be a formal volunteer experience but an experience of being in the moment. A small ear and a little bit of trust may have changed a young man`s life journey. He got a break.. that was all he needed – and I got to be a participant of it – something that I will always hold next to my heart. Sometimes you do not get to know what the results of kindness, trust and a helping hand. This time I did. 🙂
Giving time to an elderly home is the most valuable use of human currency there is. The seniors, so often forgotten, spend the majority of their day just sitting, sometimes wheelchair bound, and having nothing but their own melancholy thoughts for company. The health system certainly organizes “entertainment” but the adults to help build our existence are commonly interacted with on a childish level, as though we forget they are thinking, valuable persons. Going to be with them, talk with them, sing with them, toss a “baseball” around with them is validating and enjoyable for them. And soul refreshing for me.
Last year, I took a community development class that focused
on how grassroots community development could change the communities around us.
As an assignment I was given a choice to learn about an organization and report
back to the class but as you read on, you’ll find out that it blossomed into a little
project that both raised awareness and increased donations to the Hope Mission.
I decided to choose a population that have often been stigmatized by their situation,
the homeless. I chose Hope Mission and with accordance with the volunteer
coordinator learned an abundance of knowledge that neither I nor my friend (who
also came to help) knew. Who knew that hope mission accepted open bottles of
shampoos, lotion etc?! Most of those items are thrown away or wasting away
under our bathroom sinks. Me and my friend Julie decided before we embarked on
creating a donation & awareness project, we needed to hear and experience
what some of these individuals go through every day. So we visited the men’s
center downtown, putting my photography skills to use by taking photos of the
bunks, the cut up pieces of soap in a bucket for the men to use, the narrow
hallways and etc. We also visited the youth center that is associated with Hope
Mission and saw all the wonderful work they do there. We were advised to go to
both these places in the daytime. At night, with coordination of the volunteer
coordinator, we toured the downtown hope mission facility right after dinner,
where they put down gym mats for the men and women lining up outside to sleep
on. Me and a friend had prepared sandwiches, juice and chocolates to give the
women (who had a separate entrance and sleeping area). We had been advised to
distribute only to the women as many of the men were violent that night. Many
of these women started opening up about their stories. A woman told us that she
hadn’t had chocolate in years because it was considered a luxury and homeless
people don’t get luxuries. Another told me that she didn’t start out this way
and it took only 5 bad decisions to get her there. We saw elderly gentlemen who
had homes but nothing to eat, men in suits trying to get a job, battered women.
They were regular people who had come across bad decisions, situations and unfortunate
circumstances. After that experience, me and a friend started a little 2 month
project called project one. We set up small donation sites and even did an
afternoon at the entrance of RONA asking
people for material donations. A lady gave us a little bottle of half used
lotion to donate. What we wanted to focus on was that many of the things we
discard of, the hope mission gladly accepts. Old clothes, half empty bottles of
shampoo, lotion etc. Our project was
called project One and our motto was one item, one person can start to change
the world. By the end of two months, we had collected a whole garage full of
items to donate. It took us 5 trips to get everything down to the hope mission.
It was a life changing thing for me. I never
question what one man or woman can do to change the world. I know that if we
all donated a portion of our time and energy and abolished apathy, we could
definitely make a big impact in society.
Last winter I volunteered with the Korean Students Association at the University of Alberta. This student run organization assists not only students of the University, but also newcomers to Canada of all ages and backgrounds. I volunteered as a conversational English tutor and worked with 5 different individuals. One of these individuals was so grateful for my time he refused to go to the restroom to clean a bleeding wound he obtained from slipping on the ice outside. I eventually persuaded him to go clean the wound but he was very reluctant and apologetic. This showed me how much it meant to him that I would spend just an hour of my week simply talking to him.
This is a story about a dog named Jersey.
When Jersey was a puppy, she, along with her brothers and sisters, was abandoned and left at the Edmonton Humane Society. The kind people at the shelter fed her and gave her a warm and comfortable home. They microchipped and spayed her, and most importantly – they loved her until she was adopted by a family.
Unfortunately, Jersey did not get the happy ending she deserved. Two years later, the couple who adopted her, split up. Unwanted by the man and unable to be kept by the woman, Jersey found herself back at the SPCA for the second time in her short life. The dog found herself in need of care and love of the Edmonton Humane Society once again.
Back in their care, the talented staff and volunteers took Jersey back with open arms. They provided the same wonderful and attentive care to her as they did when she was a pup. After updating her shots and ensuring Jersey was in good health, the SPCA put her up for adoption again. One visit with Jersey and my husband and I instantly fell in love with this sweet, good-natured dog.
I will always be grateful to the incredibly volunteers and staff at the Edmonton SPCA for giving animals like Jersey a second chance at a happy life. Without their volunteerism, we would not have this beautiful dog, and I can’t even think what would have happened to our sweet Jersey. I’m happy to report that Jersey has found her “forever home” and gets her happy ending after all!
I have been volunteering as a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters since last December. I initially applied to volunteer with the program because I wanted to give back to my community. I had a great childhood, and I realize that not every child is so fortunate. Not ever child is blessed with great mentors to help them navigate the world. Becoming a “Big” seemed like a good fit for me. I was matched with a 9-year old girl, and we have been having a blast for the last 10 months. We get together every Saturday for a few hours, and have had some really fun times! Most recently we visited the Edmonton Corn Maze, went to Fort Edmonton Park, walked through the river valley and took silly photos, and made one of my “Little’s” favorite treats – rice pudding. I get to be a kid again for a few hours every week, and I am proud to say that I believe that I will make a difference in this 9-year old’s life, as a mentor and as a friend. If you’ve ever considered becoming a big brother or big sister, do it! It is so fun and rewarding!
So I realize that a lot of people may be volunteering just cause it “looks good on a resume” and such, but today I got reassured that it’s not the reason I volunteer. I’ve been convinced every now and then that I volunteer to get scholarships and such… but now it’s not really the case.
I guess most people do it for that.. but not me. You may have the best looking resume ever, have the biggest network of friends… but what is it if you don’t do it from your heart?
I don’t even know where to start about the day I had… so I guess I’ll pick the beginning. I woke up, showered, okay.. I’m kidding. I won’t go into detail. My friend Sandra and I took the bus, and it turns out we had to walk REALLY far to get into the park. We walked for at least 25 minutes… to get into the park. When we got to the park, we were kinda lost… we couldn’t find the picnic site. I think the City of Edmonton should get more signs up for people! We ended up wandering for a good 10 minutes before we found the location. We met up with the volunteer coordinator, then proceeded to our station!
We chose to do the face painting, and I was so excited and nervous! I wasn’t so much nervous, but more of afraid to draw stuff the kids didn’t like. I didn’t want to disappoint them.
I am not good at drawing.
I could draw hearts, stars, and happy faces.
Apparently, this was enough for them.
I was super excited to paint the first little girl, as she was super excited! My friend was painting one cheek, and I, another. I asked her what she wanted… and she said a heart. I was a little shocked, then was happy because I’m good at drawing hearts. 🙂
On the other side of her face, was a butterfly. I was glad that my friend was drawing them, because I wasn’t the best artist there. It was quite exciting since we both painted her cheek at the same time! 🙂 She was super excited about being painted, and stated that she’s never been painted at the same time, on both cheeks before! 🙂
I was painting the heart, and yay. I loved it. LOL It was just so exciting to be making this little girl’s day so much better! 🙂 We also started getting fancy and started putting on sparkles. xD
Anyways, as the day went by, I painted more hearts, and then a girl wanted to put “CHS” on the heart. It didn’t hit me until then, that all these kids had heart problems. I was almost to tears, because having the word “CHS” was the Children’s Heart Society. I remember reading it in the email, but had just disregarded it until that point. I was happy to help her put “CHS” on her heart, and then she suggested to have something painted on her arm.
She asked me if I knew how to draw stick men, and I said I did. She told me to draw Harvey, and I was a bit puzzled so gave her my pen from my bag, and asked her to draw me how a “Harvey” sort of looked like. She drew a stick man, and if you go to http://www.childrensheart.org/#! then on the top left, you’ll see Harvey! Apparently Harvey was the symbol of the society (am not 100% sure.. but that’s what the kids told me!) and they all wanted a Harvey after I drew the first one!!
Man, was I excited! My simple stick men made these kids soooo happy. 🙂 I loved their reactions, and I told this one girl if it was okay that Harvey was running.. because I’ve never drawn the legs with the bottom, and it was always just two legs no toes/feet LOL.
She said it was okay, and then the other girl said she wanted a running Harvey too, because it was cute. LOL It was amazing. Can you imagine how happy I was? If you can’t, well start imagining now! 🙂
OH RIGHT. And then there was the debate of whether Harvey had 3 hairs, 4 hairs, or more. LOL One of the girls went to go see her dad’s shirt because there was a Harvey.. and said there was 6.. the site only had 5 though. ITSOKAY, because then the other girl insisted on getting 3 hairs on Harvey. Heheh. 🙂
GAH! I have so much to post about! So then what happened was we started rotating so we could all eat, so then I was at the Bouncy Castle to make sure not too many kids were there or no one got hurt…. (and the bees/wasps were attracted to me and I almost cried LOL okay, I was just screaming. I hate them so much…) So then while I was watching the Castle, there was a little (3 ish) girl by the name Addison who was in the Castle was ADORABLE.
She was always coming up to the net and was like “hiiiiiiiiii” with a smile on her face, so I started playing with her. I went around the corner and we were pretty much playing hide and seek. LOL It was amazing. I haven’t felt like a kid in so long. She was like trying to find me and goshhhhh. Adorable. 🙂
I then later met a little girl who was in the Castle herself. I wanted to play with her, but she seemed super shy and quiet. Her name was Annie, Anastasia. She was probably the cutest little girl ever… she was shy at first, and her mom had wanted her to come out and eat, but she insisted on staying inside the Castle to be a “leopard” (they were all animals inside the Castle/”cage” lol.)
Because my friend drew a star on me, I suggested that she come out and get something “pretty and sparkly” on her too! She was like ;O and wanted a heart right away! heheh.
She then came out, and got a heart on her face (with sparkles) by yours truly. 🙂
AND THENNNNN because she said she wanted another one on the other side, her dad came over and convinced her to eat the burger.
She was whining and didn’t want to eat the burger, and then I told her that if she ate it, she’d have more
energy to jump higher and such… 🙂 Then they were setting up the parachute thinger, and she was all like nooooooooo because she didn’t want to eat, and wanted to play!! I whispered into her ear and told her that no one there knew how to play it yet, and she’d have enough time to eat the burger. 😉
Anyways, I ended up spending the rest of my day not face painting, but hanging out with this little girl, Annie. She was very… not so much clingy, but easy to get to know, I guess. Not only did she start holding my hand (awwe!! xD) but she’d always come back and tell me where she was going! LOL I felt like a mom, but even her dad said that I’d be a good mom. 😉
ONWARDS! So then we had Tug-Of-Wars and LOOOOOL. So John, one of the other volunteers from the organization was like telling us a plan, (I didn’t know..) it was boys vs girls and SO the girls lost first time, and second time around… when they pulled hard, we let go.
FUNNY THING WAS, I didn’t know if John’s idea, but then when it happened.. John fell. LOL. Sorry John, it was funny.
I also got to verse my little girl Annie for potato sack racing! kekek. It was obviously not fair since one jump of mine = 3-5 jumps for her LOL.. so obviously I let her win, and she was super happy about it. 🙂
Then came the sad part… her parents were wanting to leave, so I was a little sad, but then guess what… Annie starts whining and being grouchy, and ends up crying because she didn’t want to leave. 😦
She then comes over to me (as my friend, John [volunteer] and I as we were cleaning the brushes from face painting) and says thank you to me and hugs me. She said that she had lots of fun and hoped to see my next time. I’m marking my calendar for the next event already! 🙂
I felt soooo sad at some point, yet at the same time happy. I was super happy that I was able to make these kids happy, but at the same time felt like my heart sunk to the very bottom. All of these kids were proud to be CHS kids and have Harvey drawn on them, but it’s just so heart breaking that one of them, or their siblings have heart problems. It honestly is devastating and heart breaking. Seeing their scars just makes me want to tear up. It’s just so sad.
I’m happy that there’s this organization/society helping them out, and I just wanted to share my experience…I’m very glad that CKI (Circle-K International, U of A) gave me this opportunity to volunteer with them. I felt my heart break, but was truly touched by their happiness. And this, was my most memorable volunteering experience in Edmonton.
Baseball has always been pretty good to me. As I reflect on my volunteer experiences I always think of the moment that I managed a Little League team in the 80s. Ryan was a kid that obviously had a growing spurt during the winter and his balance and muscles had not caught up with him yet. It was our last game that year. All season Ryan was the player that struggled, so when a high fly ball was coming Ryan’s way I heard from his father (the assistant coach) a big ole ‘oh no’. I still vision Ryan’s closed eyes and the sound of the ball entering the outstretched glove – seemingly only there to protect his head from the falling ball. OMG!! He caught it. Well total elation came from the parents on the side of the field, from his father when his proud heart grew exponentially, the players on the field that jumped for joy at the third out and realizing what Ryan had accomplished, the astonished Ryan as he looked at the caught ball in his glove and from me experiencing the jubilation of seeing a team come together. I did not realize at that moment in time that this memory would always find its way when I needed it most and I found myself struggling in the game of life. Yes – baseball has been very very good to me.
My most memorable volunteer experience here in Edmonton is my continuing relationship with my little brother. I joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Edmonton because as an only child I have always wanted to have a sibling, and share my experiences with them. Every week I meet with my little brother, and there is always so much that I take away from our time reading, writing, and learning about each other. The language and communication barrier we often come upon remind me that we all see things differently, and that we must have great patience with each other. My relationship with my little brother inspires me to continue helping out as much as I can in my community, so I strive to donate clothes, shoes, and hygiene products as much as I can to organizations such as the Bissell Centre.
Every year for the past 3 years, I’ve organized a tweetup fundraiser called #yeghelp. It takes a lot of work to plan and pull off, but with the help of a great team, it’s always a hit. I love seeing the excitement people have about attending an event that is for the benefit of others, in this case residents of La Salle Women’s Shelter here in Edmonton, for moms and children escaping violence. Seeing the results of an event like this only motivate me to volunteer more time into planning another one. I think I’ll be doing this for years to come.
Volunteering at the Bissell Centre’s drop in centre was a really rewarding experience for me, especially during the winter months when the centre was overcrowded with people looking to hide out from the frigid temperatures. It was nice being able to provide a temporary home for people to gather around and talk in, offer small amenities such as soap and shampoo to take hot showers inside the facility and provide meals throughout the day. I was fortunate enough to sit and chat with a couple of regulars who frequented the centre a lot, and it was quite evident how grateful they were of agencies such as the Bissell Centre that offered services and resources within the community to build a healthier and stronger society.
I spent several months volunteering in a classroom for junior-high age kids with special needs. It began as a practicum placement while I was taking my Bachelor of Education and the University of Alberta, and the types of needs varied greatly, and the range of severity of those needs was huge. At first it was intimidating, but when my nine weeks were finished, there was absolutely no way I was leaving those kids. I spoke with my mentor teacher, an amazingly kind man with a true gift for special-needs education, and arranged to continue working with the call for the rest of the school year. The time I spent working with the students in that class was incredibly challenging, rewarding and educational, but it was also so much fun! Walking into the classroom every day, I never knew exactly what would happen, but what I did know was that my being there was making a difference, even if it was just a tiny one, in the lives of sixteen fantastic, brave, smart kids. At the end of the year, I cried as I said my goodbyes not just because I was sad that my experience was ending, but also because I really was so grateful to have been a small part of such an inspiring and truly special group of people. Volunteering with the teacher and the other aides in that classroom changed my view of special needs education and what it can be, and it also changed how I look at volunteering. It really is a two-way street. As we volunteer to help others, I think we really can help ourselves as well.
My most memorable experience is one from years and years ago. I was one of the 4-H members chosen to be flag bearers at the Universiade Games in 1983. The excitement of waiting in Clarke Field and then walking into Commonwealth Stadium, the enthusiasm of all the athletes, the heat of the day, and how sore my arms were by the end of it!
My most memorable volunteer experience in Edmonton would have to be volunteering to help deliver gifts for Santa’s Anonymous. This charity event always occurs before Christmas, and on this one particularly memorable year I was volunteering right after I had finished final exams at the University of Alberta. As I am sure you can imagine, I was very wrapped up in my own world; I was on a post exam high, excited for Christmas, worried about getting my shopping done and scheduling a different social event for myself every day of the holidays. On the day my boyfriend and I went to deliver gifts, I remember being selfishly concerned that this was going to take too much time and that I was missing out on valuable shopping or relaxing time. However, we committed to volunteering and headed over to the warehouse to pick up the gifts. I remember after receiving our gifts and the list of addresses, we struggled fitting them all into my Corolla, trying to figure out where on the map we were going (keep in mind this is before iPhones, so this was a real PAPER map) and having to literally push my car through the sloppy, half melted snow that had accumulated in the neighborhoods. Needless to say, at this point, my bright idea for us to give back some cheer around the holidays was not going so well. However, something changed when we reached the first address on our list. We went to the door and handed over the garbage bag full of present to the lady who answered the door. From the look on her face and the way she said thank you, we could tell that those presents would make a world of difference for her family. From that moment, we knew that what we were doing was completely worth it. Struggling through the snowy Edmonton streets was no longer a hassle, but an adventure. This volunteer experience was so memorable because it reminded me why I volunteer. I saw firsthand how happy this one small act could make someone, I knew that we were helping to spread the same joy that I feel at Christmas to others around the city.
Two years ago I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I
was matched with a little boy in grade 1. His dad had passed away a few months
before I was matched with him, and his mother was looking for a positive male
influence in his life. At first I was very nervous. I was 22 at the time and
had little experience with children. How would I know what to say or do? Who am
I to be a role model to anyone? Especially to a kid in grade 1 who just lost
his dad. When we first started hanging out, he was very withdrawn and quiet.
But with every passing week, he came out of his shell a little more. After a
few months, he wouldn’t stop talking and it was impossible to get him to sit
still for more then ten minutes! He had so much energy and he had questions
about EVERYTHING. It reminded me of myself, which made my connection with him
that much stronger. What made this so memorable for me was the connection I
formed with him. I had never had anyone look up to me before, and it made me
realize that I had a responsibility to be at my best when I was with him. We
are no longer in touch, but I hope that when he looks back to grade 1, he’ll
have fond memories of our time together. I know I do.
Can you please let me know where you can find the winner?
It’s tough to do anything while your fingers, eyes and toes are crossed lol..