Summer Travel 2020

Summer travel in the time of COVID-19. Do you have plans in place? Are you desperate to hit the open road, or is the plan to stay close to home?

Whatever your process, the present normal of intentionality, care, and health have likely affected you.

Cross-border travel continues to be in question. Furthermore, road travel between provinces is a bit of a puzzler. With some of us masking-up, sanitizing, and isolating while others go about their business as usual, there is much uncertainty about how to interact with holiday time.

What we know for sure

Summer travel is sure to be disrupted by a few key factors. What we know for sure...is that we don't know anything for sure!

First, be prepared for unusual road closures. Some provinces continue to keep roads closed. There are towns that restrict visitation, and others that will allow only residents.

There is an ebb and flow to the way COVID-19 does its thing. For that reason, unpredictable (or, even predictable ones, for that matter!) spikes could result in you being stalled in your journey. Have your car stocked and ready for limited access to amenities.

All that hand washing you're doing at home? Be ready to ramp that up. Keep in mind that some stores may insist on masks, and not all roadside locations will be open for business.

What happens on the other side

Returning home from summer travel is another thing to consider. The broader your exposure to your fellow Canadians, the higher your chance of exposure to sickness. Consider your circle of contact upon returning home: is your possible contact with the virus going to put others in danger?

While these are limiting and frustrating considerations it may serve well to err on the side of care this summer.

When camping in the yard is a thing

As you've, no doubt, considered, summer travel in 2020 may be a lot more effort than it's worth. Here's to creativity and ingenuity rising to meet the challenge! Perhaps you have already come up with an inspiration that will find you and your loved ones enjoying every moment of the season? Is this the year to make friends with pitching a tent in the back yard? Could exploring the wonders nearby bring new appreciation for what's at hand?

For more on how to sort your summer, check out CTV News. The National Post encourages you in your "staycation" plans. Even more detailed is the Global News guidance on what various provinces and airlines are up to.

Whatever your summer travel plans, we wish you good health and the freedom to connect with the ones you love!

Black Lives Matter |Silent, Complicit, Intentional

Black lives matter.

How do you participate with this statement? Are you provoked by it? Inspired by it? Confused, or bored, or disrupted by it?

Notice what happens in you when you read that simple three-word sentence back. Say it aloud. Notice what it does in you when you see it spray-painted in an underpass, or posted next to the image of a protest. What happens in you when you hear it shouted from the lips of a black person? A white person?

Something is happening in you. Right now. This is a statement of something of our times. There is no non-response to Black Lives Matter.

"What do you think...?"

A friend, voice weary with confusion and uncertainty, asked, "When people ask you what you think of Black Lives Matter, what do you tell them?" She was just off a call with a diverse group of women who had weighed-in heavily on many sides of the conversation. As the 50+ white woman in the Zoom room, she was called upon to offer a response. She felt she'd fallen short.

And she probably did. It is likely that I would have, too.

I am a straight, white woman. Moreover, I was born into the privilege of Western Canadian economic stability. The luxury of attending school was a given. Grade school. Post secondary school. I can walk into any bank and, even as a soon-to-be-divorced dependent, secure some kind of loan or credit card. My greatest worry on the public opinion stage? I am invisible because I am so very white, and so very status quo.

Any trauma or hardship that I have "suffered" has been relative. My felt needs have always been met, and I have never been turned away or overlooked because of my ethnicity, my race...the color of my face.

What do I think? I think I'd best be very, very quiet about things I cannot begin to understand.

So, I shut my mouth...but live aloud

'Best hold my tongue on matters of bigotry, racisim, segregation...sort of. My time is not well spent storming on social media, waving a placard, or verbally bludgeoning one who disagrees with me.

But it is absolutely not okay for me to remain complicit in my silence. To participate in hate, exclusion, discrimination by my non-response.

My path? The response of a lifetime to these issues? My roots are White. So, so white: religious. Exclusive. Privileged. Taught to look down upon. Filtered history books. Us-and-them thinking. I was a wee girl when I began to notice the jarring inconsistencies of my existence and their overlap in the lives of others girls. A niggle of indignant confusion was stirred. I honored that niggle...fed that niggle...welcomed the fury of injustice and "...that can't be right...?" wondering.

And, at an early age, determined that, however ignorant I might be, I would not shrink from listening. Learning. Attempting to understand. I read stacks of books on slavery, injustice, genocide, subjugation, persecution.
Recognizing the commonality I had with the "bad guys" in these works, I identified myself with the perpetrators of such horrors. I became ever more awake to the privileged life I'd had the happy luck of being born into.

And I set my mind to learning. My arms to opening. Moreover, my heart to humbly loving. All. Always. Sometimes with words, but mostly, simply by choosing to live my life in a way rich in kindness. My intention is to offer dignity through my actions.

Implicit bias

But bigotry, racisim, bias, hate? They're in me. I may tell myself I'm inclusive because I have no problem at all with embracing the stories and truth and beauty of my Muslim friends. Further, I openly affirm and adore my LGBQT+ loved ones. But I know this of myself: implicit bias sneaks up on me (in me) all of the time.

What's a lily-white white girl to do?

I may not use my physical voice to make statements of my belief on matters of racial equality, systemic violations of all-things-human rights where black people, indigenous people, LGBQT+ or female or poverty-stricken people are concerned. But I will live my small, ordinary life in an loving way. I will be mindful of where I shop. My interaction with all people, across all demographics, will assume the inherent value of the human in front of me. Furthermore, I will consciously and intentionally be mindful of the inequality that my fellow humans face into daily. And I will pay attention to the ways in which I (unfairly, ignorantly, presumptiously) set myself apart from my brothers and sisters on the planet.

One human community. All wishing for love and belonging. Each of us yearning to feel secure and purposeful. Every one awaiting the invitation to simply be our most vibrant Self.

Best Charities: Coronavirus

The best charities to support during the ebb and flow of Coronavirus ripple effects are in sight. Savvy Canadian donors do their research. They are careful in selecting who they donate to. We want our charities to run efficiently. Well managed with modest, defensible overhead is a must. Moreover, a charity should touch into our lives personally.

Your decision to donate your vehicle has come with thought and care. Choosing the charity that will receive the monies from that effort poses a unique challenge.

This is an easy decision for some: we give from the heart to the causes that make our hearts leap! Where the money goes is top-of-mind for others. Above all, give where there will be the best bang for our giving buck.

Maclean's on who, what, why

Maclean's ezine article, "Coronavirus: Where to donate and how to help Canada's most vulnerable," offers concise and valuable direction. If you're looking to donate specifically to needs arising from the pandemic, this article will help!

Many of the charities noted in on their break-out lists are charities that we work to support daily. Note the Canadian Mental Health Association, The Salvation Army, and Food Banks Canada. These are on the short-list for monetary donation. Further, SOS Children's Villages and Kids Help Phone are high on the list.

Concerned for the personal safety of women and children in violent domestic situations, consider donating. The Canadian Women's Foundation, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, and your own local shelter need you.

Similarly, we have seen how aggressively COVID-19 has impacted our Canadian seniors. The Alzheimer Society in your province needs your giving dollars now.

Canadians are all affected

As you'll see in the Maclean's article, these quick acknowledgments skim the surface. We should state that impact has rippled to all sectors of our society. Consider gifting indigenous causes, or, turn your attention toward those with special needs. 'Just plum tuckered out thinking about your fellow human? Why not consider a gift to any of our animal charities? It will be welcome!

pick n pull

Wisdom in Troubled Times

Wisdom is never violent: where wisdom reigns there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.

Carl Jung

But, I'm right!

Wisdom

Global events demand the attention of each one of us. We have strong opinions. Such firm beliefs. Furthermore, we are right! I am right. You are right. We have reasons that are good enough for us - every one of us - that to refuse to adapt, or change, or grow.

Good enough reasons to protest. Reasons that are strong enough that we won't protest. Ideologies and understandings that demand attention. It is so very important that I be right.

For this reason, and a thousand others, we squabble with and shame and harm one another. And we each claim wisdom in the moment of heated action or argument. Equally, we argue understanding through inaction and passivity.

Is that really all there is to it?

Thomas Merton says that compassion is the acceptance of the interconnectedness of all things. So , the state of my heart is reflected in the condition of the world. This may be for peace, or for strife. It could be for goodness, or for greed. Perhaps it will be for love, but it could just as easily be for judgement.

In a wildly disrupted time (pandemic, human rights upheaval, economic disparity, and so on and on!), we have actual control over very little. Really? We have control over one thing: our Self. Who we will be. How we will be. What if your way of being has a ripple effect? What might you determine that effect to be?

For today, we here at Donate a Car Canada will continue to hold to our intention of providing exceptional donor and charity care in a wobbly world. Hands steady-at-the-scrap-car-wheel. Aiming for wisdom and compassion. And this despite our (considerable) differences of thought, belief, and certitude! We're all in this together.

Blackout Tuesday

"Blackout Tuesday is an initiative to go silent on social media, reflect on recent events, and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement," according to www.insider.com.

Black Lives Matter (in Canada) has a mission: To forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with black communities, black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies in order to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto.

What this means for us...and for you

As Canadians, we're inclined to the middle ground. We hold strong views about all sorts of global issues, but we're inclined to temper our expression of opinion.

Donate a Car Canada has over 900 charities for donors to choose from. These charities attend to the needs of the sick, the marginalized, and the four-legged-adorable. Moreover, many address human rights.

The work we do here, every day, 364 days a year speaks to the importance of Blackout Tuesday. Hundreds of Canadians make it their mission to actively seek justice and equality for all. Markedly, this is key to the mission of Donate a Car Canada.

Freedom - of belief, of thought

Recently I had an encounter with a potential donor who expressed strong feelings about donating through our program. Notably, his feelings did not affirm our work! His dismissive concern was that some of the charities on our list have values that do not align with his hopes for Canada. Canadian donors can choose any of our 900+ charities to gift. Two of these charities did not match up with this gentleman's value system. Therefore, he rejected our program in its entirety. Blackout Tuesday would be a frustrating distraction for him. His belief and thought center around oil & gas, and deep seated frustration with beliefs around environmentalism. For those reasons, he had no space for consideration of other needs.

And that is one of the luxuries of freedom of thought. We can support, judge, and ignore as we wish. We can give, withhold, and companion however we like. Freedom of movement and belief are a given in Canada.

Pausing for just a minute

Today we take just a few seconds out of our day to consider those for whom the right to live peaceably, without interference of discrimination or abuse is not a given. We turn inward and ask important questions: am I prejudiced? Am I afraid of beliefs, nationalities, races, or ways of being that I don't understand? Can I expand my understanding of my fellow human in some way? Even a small way? Do I understand that history that preambles the unrest of today? What is my part in answering for that history? For the present?

Thank you for considering with us. And with the many Canadian front-line charity workers daily working to ensure equality, fairness, safety, and wellbeing for all.