“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”

When Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this statement in her acclaimed book, Eat, Pray, Love, I don't think she knew how profoundly it would connect with people everywhere. Our deep desire need to pay back is both unnerving and at times down right stressful. The idea that we owe someone for doing something nice for us is ridiculous in my books. People like to help people for the sake of helping people, not for the hope that someone will now have to reciprocate the kindness just because. 

Maybe, just maybe, if we changed our focus to paying it forward and not paying it back we'd then see a global mindset shift to an altruistic approach to helping for the sake of unconditional love of our fellow, less fortunate global citizens.

What is the TELUS' Giving Effect

I felt this was the case when I was first introduced to TELUS' #theGivingEffect and Day of Giving initiatives.

Who would have thought an invite from a TELUS team member four years ago, inviting my family to take part in the TELUS Day of Giving, would become a long-term relationship with a company that is all about giving back to local and global initiatives.

This year as a Team TELUS Advocate I've had some amazing experiences. From private musical performances atop the newly built TELUS Garden roof-top to box seats at We Day and the BC Lion's game opener, but none is as rewarding as our recent opportunity to run our own fundraising event to help a local Vancouver non-profit called Ruben's Shoes.

Who is Ruben and What is the charity ‘Ruben's Shoes'?

When we were first introduced to Ruben's Shoes at a CrossFit competition years ago we were immediately drawn in to their cause. I can't explain it as well as the following video so have a quick watch to learn a bit more about the organization:

Why were we inspired to create a local Giving Effect?

Each year our family is amazed with how much TELUS contributes in time and resources, so when we were invited to take part in #theGivingEffect initiative earlier this year, we felt inspired to see what we could do personally.

Our belief is that every act of giving inspires another, so my family and me invited people in our local community to join us in Yaletown (an area in Vancouver, Canada). Giving is simple and fun (and can be tasty too), and with the generosity of TELUS we were able to share a local Vancouver company's healthy alternative to ice cream. We partnered with Nice Vice to offer an ice cream treat for either a cash donation or shoe contribution for Ruben's Shoes.

The forecast was optimistic, but true to Vancouver weather fashion, and with some incredible luck, when it rains it pours!


With Passion-fruit, Strawberry and Chocolate on the Nice Vice menu, the rain didn't stop Eventbase‘s Jeff Sinclair's generosity to give. Jeff, while walking his dog in the park, felt compelled to ask why a group of people were standing on the corner handing out ice cream in the pouring rain. He gave the time for us to explain The Giving Effect and our initiative to collect gently used shoe contributions and cash donations for Ruben's Shoes while sharing ice cream with the community.

Jeff returned with two colleagues and purchased ice cream for his entire office – the giving effect at work!

Between Jeff's kindness (or pity, but after speaking with Jeff and his team, giving is definitely a company core value), the wonderful TELUS, and the fabulous families of Yaletown who braved the rainy afternoon, we collected 120 pairs of shoes along with $1400 in cash donations to help Ruben's Shoes.

Paying it forward creates a giving effect

Seeing local children approach the Nice Vice truck with such pride, handing over their shoes, some knowing why, some learning why and some just there for the free ice cream, but either way each pair of shoes provided helps a child overseas receive an education. Seeing many of their eyes widen when they heard the reason their kindness mattered was worth bearing the wet event in itself. Whether the day entailed simply 10 or 1000 donations, the giving effect was in full effect. Because it all starts with one act of kindness…

Thank you to Jeff and the Eventbase team for ensuring the freshly hand crafted ‘ice cream' was consumed!

Thank you to the moms, dads, grandparents and children who took the time to sort through their shoes and give them to Ruben's Shoes.

Thank you to Nice Vice for sharing their healthy ice cream alternative with the community.

And thank you to everyone at TELUS for inspiring us to spend a few hours of our time GIVING!

If you feel inspired to pay it forward and create your own giving effect, let me know. I'd love to help you get the word out – email me anytime at coach (at) daimanuel.com – until then, keep sharing smiles, your time and energy to help make this world a better place. Through one act of giving at a time, I feel we can create a tsunami of kindness which can inspire people everywhere to be instruments of giving.

Can you imagine what that world would look like?

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