Are you aware of all the people involved in helping make your community a better place? Is crime an issue in your city or community? Yes lots of questions but are the answers more important then the questions?

Are you already helping out in your community?

Are you / Can you make a difference?

Where did all this come from?  Some of it from something we did tonight and the rest has been building up over time and given more urgency after recent events.

Geraldine and I went to the Southdale Recreation Center volunteer appreciation dinner tonight and I guess I didn’t know what to expect before going.  We were invited for being co-coaches on our sons U9 Soccer team this summer and we were not expecting anything in return so this was very appreciated.  The night turned out to be a great experience and helped us both learn more about and see and better appreciate all the people involved in making our community center one of the most successful in the city and making Southdale and the surrounding areas a great community to live in. This is one of the things that is helping show the true spirit of many Canadians and why Canada is a great country to live in.

Awards were handed out and there were several inspirational and moving speeches from some presenters and recipients. One of the award recipients was another assistant coach with me on my youngest sons hockey team last season who has been involved in coaching in this community for quite some time.  Our representatives at the municipal & provincial levels where there to speak and give there appreciation and some kind words sent from our federal MP who is away in Yellowknife N.W.T. for part of her federal role as secretary of Indian Affairs.

Last spring I reluctantly stepped forward as a 1st time soccer coach when no one else would and Geraldine followed suit shortly after and we co-coached & managed the team.  It was a great experience and seeing the kids develop and have fun was very rewarding.  A few others stepped up to assist as well and their contributions were greatly appreciated and made a difference.  We made it to the City Championship playoffs which was a great accomplishment and it was nice to hear from may of the parents and players at the end of the season and windup that it was the best team they had been a part of for any sport.

I encourage any of you who are not volunteering in your community already to accept the challenge and not be afraid to take the opportunity to make a difference.  Many people are afraid to take that step as a head coach or key person in a community volunteer group etc… because they feel they do not have the skills or experience and or the time to make the commitment needed.  In almost every case all that is needed is someone who can take the leadership role and organize all the assistants etc… that will usually step forward right away or after asking.  Many will have the skills and experience needed but are afraid to take the leadership role.  This almost always gets easier each time you step forward.

Helping out in coaching youth sports or any other activity in the community will help young, old and all ages directly or indirectly and make a difference in the community over all.  Remember some of these children may be our future leaders in government and large companies and need to be able to make the right decisions including the ones to help take care of us when we all get old. 🙂

Myself and several others in our community think that one of the biggest issues facing our communities, city and country is crime.  There was a recent shotgun shooting involving young men in a neighbouring community where I lived and attended high school.  I have seen this community rapidly deteriorate but it was especially disturbing to me since it was the 1st time this type of violent crime has occurred in this community.

I choose to write the representatives in all levels of government for my area and this adjacent one.  I recalled what some of their election pledges were (one involved crime) and spent a little bit of time researching more about this and what they have done so far since being elected.  I summarized when writing them and asked them what they were doing or plan to do to help improve things regarding crime.  I mentioned that I felt that throwing more & more police on the street and buying a multi million dollar helicopter plus paying the associated annual costs was likely not the most effective use of public funds.

I encouraged them to push for more community programs and support and asked them what things would be like if this money was spend getting police and positive people in the community to go out and find kids on the street loitering etc… and ask them if they want to participate in community sports and pay all or part of this costs for any that qualified (what every criteria was suitable, low income family etc… ).  What would a community doing this and other similar activities like this look like?  What about spending more money on media campaigns that promote all the good things that happen in our communities every day and all the positive things that people do everyday to make their community a better place. Would this be more helpful to the communities then day after day of most media talking about this stabbing, that shooting, this murder, that deadly car chase, this fraud, that ….

If crime or another issue is affecting your community I encourage you to write you representatives in government and maybe the leaders in large businesses in your cities or communities as well and ask them what they are doing for your city or community.  There is several great resources available for information about what your reps are doing in government and if you want them let me know

Why don’t you share a positive story as a reply on http://www.conversationworks.ca/whats-gone-well-today/

Or the response you get when you ask a stranger in line etc… this question.

Feel free to add your comments here.

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things I find interesting or that I think others should know about.
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