Breaking News | When it’s in MBY

The face we turn toward our own unconscious is the face we turn toward the world. ~R. Rohr~

Breaking news close to home

This has been an unusual week in our household. Typically, effects of shootings and other violent crime are far removed from us. We can offer our version of "thoughts and prayers" alongside those of other relatively unaffected citizens. This week, a shooting at a local mall felt very close to home, and it has us talking.

One of our adult sons works in media management for a North America-wide retail store. When word of an "active shooter" reached him on a Monday evening in September, he jumped to action. He and his (wholly untrained) co-workers promptly locked the store down. They escorted customers safely out through a controlled entrance, and found their own way to safety in good time.

The first I heard about it was in the laundry room. My grown-up boy quietly came up the stairs to where I was sorting and began with, "I've had quite a day. It didn't shorten my shift, or anything," (Oh, the details we offer when we're in shock.) "but there was a shooting at the mall today."

Sometimes you just need eggs

And from there the story unfolded. As shock wore off and his body started to adjust from the grip of Adrenalin, problem solving, and emergency response, he wobbled. "I was fine, Mom. Fine. I did everything right. But this was pretty close to home." We breathed a little. He took a minute for solitude and quiet and weeping, and then obeyed my command to come downstairs and "...eat some eggs!" Once at the kitchen island, head lowered in exhaustion, his first words were, "Nothing even happened to me."

But of course something happened "to him." He wasn't threatened with a gun, or grazed by a bullet. Nor did he have direct contact with the police officers securing the mall. He was not physically harmed in any way. But something most certainly happened to him. Our conversation last night brought the wobble to the surface again, and I watched him wrestle with his emotions: he has been impacted by this.

A non-anxious presence in an anxious world

The victim of Monday's attack, and the lives of every patron and mall employee in the vicinity of that shooting are forever altered. The life of the shooter is changed. One more thread of our society's fabric has been tugged on. First responders to the scene that day will never go to work the same way again. And they may not go to the mall the same way, either. My own family's experience is a gentle story of the impact of the anxiety, rage, hostility, and just-beneath-the-surface tendency to violence that some of our fellows are experiencing.

When Rohr says, The face we turn toward our own unconscious is the face we turn toward the world, we can draw both comfort and caution.

Our intentions, our habits, our way of being in the world? It matters. If we are challenging our own implicit biases, and broadening our understanding of humanity and belief, we will contribute to peace and goodness broadly. When we nurture hate and small mindedness? Well, that's what we'll put out into the world.

If we tend to our own interior life with compassion and patience and quiet, we may find that is what we have to offer others around us. A person who does violence has turned, first, on himself. Fear and anger are in the driver's seat; the narrative in that mind is one of self-preservation and survival. There is greed and anxiety coursing through the hand that clasps that firearm.

What would it be like to be persuaded of the value of all people? The right to dignity and safety. The right to life. What if that offering of dignity begins with how we view the value of our own "wild and precious life" (M. Oliver)?

It's not easy being mean

As a (proud!) mama, I note the way of being of my son; I note that of the young man that wielded a firearm in a crowded mall. My son has worked diligently, effortfully to cultivate a life of goodness, gentleness, peace, patience. He hasn't been haphazard about this. He's thought about who he wants to be as a man; he's made consistent choices to practice a way of being that is non-anxious. "But it's hard, Mom. I feel all the feelings. Like, I can handle these crisis situations really well, but the after effects? They're terrible." And yet, he holds. He remains true to his values.

The young boy (because he was just a boy) that decided that an act of violence was the solution to his own struggle has a different process. A thousand factors and choices brought him to the mall with a gun that day. Doubtless, there has been deep suffering in his life. Certainly he has not had the know-how of applying himself to serious self-assessment and character work. But maybe this will be a changing time for him? Maybe he, too, will consider who he wants to be, how he wants to be, in this one short life? Perhaps he can shift his inward gaze to a gentler, safer, more compassionate lens, and thereby alter his footprint in the world.

I lean into the end of the week taking a little stock of what my own self-care/other-care way of being really is. Is that way altered when breaking news violence vibrates the strings of my family web? Are there ways that I can extend deeper kindness and compassion more broadly? Perhaps if I look more tenderly on myself my gaze upon the world be softer, too.

Going to the Dogs

Donate a Car Canada donations going to the dogs one car at a time

Golden Rescue
Golden Rescue

The Canadian Golden Retriever Adoption Service (Golden Rescue) received their first-ever donation through our program in August.

One of Canada’s largest single-breed rescue groups, GR is a Canadian charity run entirely by volunteers. Since 1990, Golden Rescue has found homes for 3, 174 surrendered, abandoned, unwanted, or displaced Golden Retrievers.

Golden Rescue has no paid staff. They have no offices, and no high administrative expenses. They do, however, have over 500 dedicated volunteers throughout Ontario and Quebec, and beyond. One hundred percent of the money they raise goes to helping the dogs. Around 80% of those funds go to vet care and behavioral training.

Curious about adopting a Golden of your own? Visit Golden Rescue's site and see who's waiting for their forever home.

Police dogs in on the donation action

Ned's Wish

Ned's Wish is "a cause for heroes with paws."

Ned’s Wish received their first-time gift in August as well.

NW supports law enforcement by providing financial and educational support to better the quality of life for K-9 retirees in Canada. After human police officers finish serving their communities, their pension funds support them. Due to the cost of health care for retired police dogs, the potential to enjoy retirement can literally rest on a dime. A dog’s quality of life can be significantly reduced, or even cut-short if health costs are too high.

Ned's provides financial support for retired K-9 medical well-being. They preserve and enhance the quality of life for retired police dogs.

Your retired car can help

If these Golden Retrievers and retired police dogs have your attention, donate your vehicle through our program today! Or, visit the websites we've linked to learn of other ways to donate to the charities directly.

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Canadian Music Therapy Fund

Canadian Music Therapy Fund |Charity of the Month

The Canadian Music Therapy Fund (CMTF) wishes to create access to music therapy for Canadians who need it most.

They bring music therapy and therapists to rural, urban and remote communities from coast-to-coast. Their work brings music programs to people on the autism spectrum, and to those living with Alzheimer’s disease. Further, they engage those challenged by anxiety and depression. CMTF also reaches Canadians rehabilitating speech or motor skills, as well as those needing pre- and post-natal care, or living with a brain injury.

Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund
Canadian Music Therapy Fund

CMTF does this by awarding grants, scholarships and fellowships to innovative certified music therapists. As a result, these therapist are then empowered! They use their talents and expertise to make music therapy accessible within their communities.

Work that matters

The Science is in: music therapy works. However, music therapy is not a widely recognized form of therapy. It is seldom funded by private insurance or government programs. This means that, for the most part, if you can't pay for it, you cannot access it.

Music therapy helps us to move and communicate, to cope, to better understand ourselves and to reach our full potential. CMTF wants to make music therapy available to anyone who needs it.

Together, they are transforming lives. With your support, access to music therapy for all Canadians is possible!

Help the CMTF hit the high notes

Donate your car through our program today and choose our charity of the month as your donation recipient!

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Compassion

Rumi on compassion

My dear heart, never think you are better than others. Listen to their sorrows with compassion. If you want peace, don't harbor bad thoughts, do not gossip and don't teach what you do not know.

In compassion and grace, be like the sun...
In generosity and helping others, be like a river...

Listen with ears of tolerance! See through the eyes of compassion! Speak with the language of love.

Psychology Today

Beverly Engel's article, "What is compassion and how can it improve my life?" notes that, "...instead of assuming that the reason someone has done something that hurts you is because they are selfish or inconsiderate, assume instead that they had a good reason for doing it...". This extension of the definition takes us beyond a confusion between empathy and compassion, and into even broader understanding. What if my assumptions about your behavior toward me are incorrect? What if I've presumed something about your motives, your thoughts, or your feelings are way off?

My filters get a little foggy from time-to-time. It's easy for me to assume that someone I love means me no harm and had good intentions in her treatment of me. It's not much of a reach to presume that someone who's not my biggest fan might wish me ill. It's probable that neither were actually thinking about me that much at all. Sometimes people are just distracted, or caught up in their own stuff. I know when I get that way I can be insensitive or just plain checked-out. Compassion allows me to expect the best from my others.

And when in doubt? It doesn't take much to check-in with a, "Hey, I noticed you didn't say thank you for that amazing lasagna I made for dinner. 'You ok?" You might get an abashed, "Sorry! Great dinner!" Or you may learn that some things went down that need a little tending.

Choose My Charity

New Charities Join DACC Program

"Choose my charity." That's one of our donor wishes. Did you know that each month Donate a Car Canada signs more charities up for our vehicle donation program? Canada has hundreds of registered charities. And they're hearing the word: they can earn monetary gifts through vehicle donation.

In the month of July we added 12 more charities to our list! That means Canadian donors have even more choices for giving. If you have a vehicle to donate, you can select any charity from the 800+ we have on board. Your vehicle is processed for re-sale or recycling. The net outcome of the sale is forwarded, in monetary form, to your charity.

Curious about who signed up just last month?

  • The Hunger Project
  • Canadian Golden Retriever Adoption Service Inc
  • After Breast Cancer
  • Harvest Project
  • Arthritis Research Canada
  • Ned's Wish - A Society for Retired Police Service Dogs
  • Rainbows for All Children
  • Association for Community Living - Interlake Branch
  • Pacific Animal Therapy Society (P.A.T.S)
  • The Hospice of Windor & Essex County Inc.
  • Le Havre / Our Harbour
  • The Montreal General Hospital Foundation

Choice matters!

You can see from our newest participants that your donation is all about the cause you love. We touch into health, wellbeing, animal care, community concerns, and more. Our donation dollars are precious to us; the freedom to select who will be the recipient is key to a satisfactory giving moment.

Does giving in this way sound like a good fit for you? Take a few minutes on our site, visit our Facebook or Twitter feeds, or give us a call. We can answer specific questions, or get you set up for a free tow.

We can even help you find a charity that speaks to a cause you care about (even if you don't know the name of the organization). Some folks call in to ask which charity needs their gift the most. That's a tough question for us to answer! But we can certainly work with you to determine what cause might best fit your donation dollars.

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Acts of Kindness

"Acts of kindness" has lost some of its punch as a collection of words, but the acts themselves have not.

Kindness is one of Donate a Car Canada's core values. We are a locally owned and operated business, and so we have overhead costs and need to earn enough money to keep the doors open. The women that take your calls and compassionately field your donations need to feed their kiddos! And having a key value of kindness behind it all makes doing this important work so much more rewarding.

Acts of Kindness in Canada

In her, "9 Random Acts of Kindness That Will Make You Proud to be Canadian" online Reader's Digest article, Rebecca Tucker paints an engaging picture of what it looks like to be uniquely kind in Canada.

Tucker's collection of stories championing individual and community efforts of caring invite us to tackle kindness in big and small ways. In fact, the limits to how we extend this basic human dignity are only limited by imagination.

The Reader's Digest Who's Who

Rebecca notes 9 groups and individuals who have made a difference in their own unique ways:

Stella Bowles of Upper LaHave, N.S: Eco-Hero! She took it upon her 11-year-old self (she's a teen, now) to investigate and address pollution in the LaHave River.

Staff at the York Care Centre, a Fredericton retirement facility, immediately circled in to support one of their own who had been victimized by a violent crime.

Milestone, Saskatchewan farmers banded together to pull in a community member's crops when hard times fell on the family.

Larissa Arthur, an RN heading home from a mountain hike, saved Mike Estepa's life. He'd collapsed of a heart attack on a bicycle trek, and she happened upon him just in time.

Three crab fishers from St. Lewis, N.L. pulled off a dramatic Arctic Fox rescue. Fishing the little guy in from where he was stuck on the ice, they nurtured him to health and set him free.

Rebecca Schofield (#BeccaToldMeTo) gave her dying days to spreading a message of acts of kindess in even the smallest things, like, "opening doors, buying coffee for strangers, giving out granola bars at the gym."

Frank Vieira received the Goodyear Highway Hero Award for a dramatic roadside rescue.

Andrew Harper, a 95 year-old philanthropist seeking to honor his beloved late wife, made an unprecedented financial contribution to the Chez Doris women's day shelter.

Kyle Busquine, Julio Cabrera, and Jehangir Faisal exhibited the stuff of superheros, jumping on the tracks to rescue a fallen man.

What's your next kindness contribution?

So many ways to share the best of who we are. At any time. In any place. I don't have $1 million dollars to gift to a women's shelter, but I do have $5.00. I haven't the energy in this ol' body to save a river, but I can pick up the trash I see on my daily walks. And, even on the tired and overwhelming and "What the goodness is going on in this crazy world!?" days, I can offer dignity and respect to every heart I encounter.

To all who will show me kindness today (I don't even know who you are, yet!), thank you. I will do my part to keep kindness going, too.

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Fall Clean Up | Free Town-wide Vehicle Removal

Junk vehicles cluttering up town?

Clean yards make good neighbors. Are you and your fellow townsfolk starting to see a build-up of old cars and trucks in town? Are your town's driveways and back alleys getting cluttered with recycle-ready (donation-ready!) vehicles. It's time for a Fall clean up! We can help!

Donate a Car Canada, cooperating with area tow companies, will arrange to have your vehicle removed. For free! Your charity of choice will receive a donation in the amount of net sale proceeds. You can choose from our list of over 800 Canadian charities.

But why stop with your own car or truck? Get the town behind a Fall clean up and get a donation day or week organized on your behalf. You could see your town junk car free overnight.

Are you in charge?

Are you one of the folks in town that have taken on the care of your patch of Canada? Donate a Car Canada can make a town Fall clean up easy and cost-effective. How would this work? Simply connect with us here (1-877-250-4904) to let us know you're setting up a town-wide effort.

We'll give you a few easy directions:

  1. Promote your event.  Let residents know they have the opportunity to donate their vehicles to charity. They'll receive tax receipts for the donations, and they can choose their charities. All for free! A little aside: if you opt, as a town, to select one charity to receive all donations, your impact will be substantial for that one recipient. That's one more way to create community.
  2. Ask your residents to fill in our online donation form, indicating on the form that they are donating their vehicle for pick-up during your town event. We need one donation form for each vehicle. This ensures tax receipts are issued properly, and that vehicle ownership is appropriately logged.
  3. Leave the rest to us! Our pick-up agents will contact donors to specify pick-up times and locations. The vehicles will be removed. And we will forward each individual gift on to each donor's charity of choice.

Curious citizen ready to get things rolling?

If you're a citizen who cares about the tidiness and care of your community, we can help with that, too. As noted above, reach out to us at 1-877-250-4904. Point us in the direction of the right person for the job. We will connect with your town council or other municipal leaders to let them know that a citizen has requested a town-wide Fall clean up of donation ready cars and trucks.

Or spearhead the work yourself, getting the word out that the Donate a Car Canada service and our vast charity-of-choice options are available to you all.

Contact us today and let us help you and your town clean up and feel great!

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Power Lifter on Pause

Our power house of a human, power lifter Ryan Lapadat, has a strong start to his enormous charity-awareness effort. A strong beginning. And then...a bit of a bump in the proceedings...

Lapadat won't quit

You've been following along and you know that our favorite power lifter, Ryan Six Pack Lapadat, is tackling a 143 day, 100+ charity promoting challenge of car flipping. Well, being a soft-bodied animal, as we all are, Ryan's body has asked to slow things down a little. He's torn a calf muscle and isn't bouncing back as quickly as he hoped.

Here's what we know from Ryan (emphasis...and a little punctuation tweeking, mine):

"Here is a brief update:

Yesterday I partially tore my right calf while flipping the car. It felt like a pop, loss of strength, then I couldn't walk on it. Very painful. I am walking with a limp now.

But it would hurt me more to quit. And I know that. So today, I stepped up to the car and flipped it again, and I intended to keep flipping this car. Things do not always get worst. Sometimes they get better. Keep the faith.

I will adjust to keep this going. Terry Fox only had one leg anyway.

To make the car easier to flip with my torn calf I have found flipping from the roof to the wheels is easiest. This is because I can grab the window ledges and flip it. The window ledges are higher up than the handle we put on it, and I do not have to bend my injured right leg.

This is day 9. We have 143 days. This is early days. By the time we reach 100 days this story could really get interesting."

What this means for the challenge

That was a few days ago. But Ryan needs to give his calf time to heal. As a power lifter, his body is a well-tuned instrument and the source of his livelihood.

The determination, creativity, and all-around drive Six Pack bring to this are the stuff of inspiration. You know where he's coming from: sometimes life knocks you flat. Or, it throws you a little off course, at least. Ryan's not fazed. And we're excited to see how this pause in the process leads to renewed health and energy for the challenge.

Lapadat hopes to pick up where he left off sometime early in October. We're on board with that and will be pulling for a full and power lifter worthy return to recovery.

Keep watching here for updates. The links for Ryan's Twitter and Instagram are in previous posts as well -- he's an inspiring guy to follow around! We're proud to be working on this effort together and wish Ryan full health from head to toe.

Kindness Matters

Is kindness uncommon?

“When one reaches out to help another he touches the face of God.” – Walt Whitman 

Your kindness counts

Henri Nouwen says, "...our faithfulness to a small task is the most healing response to the illnesses of our time." Kindness matters, and your efforts in the smallest expressions of that goodness can have large effect.

Take a little minute and consider the nature of the acts of kindness that have most put air in your own lungs. Was it a break, a smile, a compliment, a hand up, or a hard-earned treat? Whatever it was, it probably didn't cost the giver much, and it made a difference to your day. What was it like for you to be the recipient? And did you go on to be a giver of the same?

Benefits to bein' nice

Psychology Today notes, "A recent study, Kindness Counts, conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Riverside, broke new ground by showing the benefits derived by tweens when they were taught happiness-increasing strategies.

For a month, several hundred 9-11 year-olds performed and recorded three acts of kindness each week for anyone they wished. Another several hundred kept track of three pleasant places they visited during the week.

Not surprisingly, the results were consistent with adult studies. When kids performed acts of kindness or took notice of the pleasant places they visited during the week, they significantly increased feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

But those who performed acts of kindness received an additional benefit.  Measuring how well children were liked or accepted by their peers, the study showed those who performed acts of kindness gained an average of 1.5 friends during the four-week period – good support for the idea that 'nice guys finish first.'" (Acts of Kindness: Key to Happiness for Children & Teens)

Three acts of kindness each week? 'Sounds do-able! Let's take up that challenge and make a difference.

6packlapadat | Flipping for charity

Follow DAC's favorite powerlifter

Ryan (6packlapadat) is really doing this! He's on day 18 of flipping4charity. Stifling heat, a few obstacles, and an injury won't slow this guy down. Check his Twitter feed for some of his updates.

Following Lapadat on Instagram is worth a daily check-in, too. 6packlapadat and Donate a Car Canada are excited to be promoting over 100 Canadian charities in this unique way. Does it spark you imagination? How are your unique capabilities setting you up to do your version of good in Canada? In your city? In your neighborhood?

Stay tuned on our social media platforms for daily updates on Ryan's efforts, our charity connections, and ways that you can be involved in spreading the word.