The Dream Big Volunteer Project

I am working on a brand new addition to the Dream Big community called The Dream Big Volunteer Project. I am compiling an easy resource guide for people in all cities to get connected with lesser known charities.  My recent work with the Hoskins Park Ministry has opened my eyes to a need that is going unfilled: connecting volunteers with charities that don’t have million dollar budgets.

My goal is to have multiple charities listed for every major city in the U.S.  So, if you know of a small charity in your city please email me and give me their contact information.  I would like to develop a vast network of charities from city to city!

As we have progressed technologically I believe humanity has taken a giant leap backward as it relates to volunteering and being philanthropic.  My hopes are to help connect charities with people that want to help, but aren’t sure where to start.

It is time for all of us to jump in and help.  Stop waiting on someone else to do the work that you should be doing yourself.  We have an obligation as human beings to help others and god knows there are plenty of people in need.  It is time to get out of your world and stare people in the eyes and tell them through your actions that you care.

Do not delay any longer.

Meet Willie

Charity comes in all forms and will bring you eye-to-eye with good people that are simply experiencing a hardship. Meet Willie…



This is Willie, a cheerful man who is currently living under the Burrard bridge. I was fortunate enough to have him tell me his story while passing out triple-berry jammy sandwiches this past weekend. Willie was polite and patient with me when I asked him questions about his life story, and gave me his enthusiastic consent when I asked for his permission to share it.

Willie travelled from New Brunswick to provinces all around Canada, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. He was back and forth between provinces to find work, but, unfortunately, to no avail. He held random jobs here and there as a dishwasher, but wanted to find things related to construction as he likes hands-on labour. Despite meeting tough conditions in life, Willie has remained positive and cheerful, which is exemplified in the message from John Lennon’s song that he would like to pass on to…

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2 Organizations That Will Fill Your Heart With Joy

2I thought I would include links to the organizations that allowed us the privilege of volunteering this past Saturday.  The first is called Finish The Wall and they are a charity that finishes up uncompleted buildings and projects that have no future plan for completion.  They truly have a unique niche as they take over unfinished jobs and complete them to be used for humanitarian needs.  They organize trips to other countries and also take on jobs domestically.  Mary Padgett handles volunteer scheduling and she can be contacted through the website.

The second organization is Hoskins Park Ministries and they provide housing, support and employment for the homeless and those men recently released from prison.  They house, mentor and educate 60+ men at any given time.  They started with one house and operated the entire operation from that house.  Now they have 13 houses, a tropical courtyard area with a gazebo and small pond.  They have also constructed a meeting tent for church services, meeting and get-togethers.

Bill Brown is the onsite supervisor and gave us a wonderful tour of the facilities and talked extensively about their mission.  It was an amazing and eye-opening conversation.  If you live in the Charlotte area these groups need volunteers and donations.  Tomorrow I am taking a coffee table, sofa table, books, clothing and house goods.  They need everything and these men would appreciate you stopping by to chat for a while!

Big Dreamer

A Spirit of Generosity

A great question at the end. I hope the answer is a loud Yes!!

Barbara E Wade Blog

For me generosity is about giving. It can be financially, as well as giving from the heart (no money involved).

open hand open hand of giving

I have always deeply respected people like Paul Newman who founded his Newman’s Own Foundation in 1982. Since it started the organization has given over $400 million to thousands of charities around the world. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are other people with wealth whose philanthropy and generosity for the whole world has been and continues to be phenomenal. Their generosity is NOT about controlling politics, rather it is about truly helping people in dire straights or changing bad situations. I am very grateful for their generosity.

I do NOT fit into the Newman’s, Gates’, or Buffet’s category of wealth! However, I can give from the heart.

heart from necklace

Giving from the heart

What does that mean in action?  I can give an hour of my time to…

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How Helping Others Helps You: 6 Ways to Fill Your Heart

IMG_7051Today’s topic is how to stop being an “almost-volunteer.”  It is very easy to find ways to volunteer in your community.  As a matter of fact, you can start in your own neighborhood by picking up trash or walking an elderly person’s dog or helping carry in groceries for a friend.

Mental Health America has a great website that I visit often to research upcoming topics and today I found a great article on our topic.  I hope you enjoy!

I give… because it feeds my soul

This is one of my favorite posts I have read about giving. There is no greater giving than giving your time and energy!

Sali Says

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran


I follow @michaelchatman on Twitter. Michael is a ‘Global Ambassador of Giving’ and “one of America’s most listened to voices in philanthropy”.  He hosts #WHYiGive, every Tuesday on Twitter, where he encourages his followers to say – in 141 characters, including the hashtag #WHYiGive – why THEY give.  The reasons given are inspirational  – and varied. 

Reading through the tweets made me reflect on why I give and there is only one answer – because it feeds my soul.

I have met a lot of people in life who haven’t quite got the hang of ‘giving’.  Take volunteering, for example.  Someone I thought I knew really well once said to me “I don’t understand why anyone would ever choose to volunteer.  Why would…

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A new care factor.

A great story! Many of my favorite topics: giving/helping others, self-realization and learning to fix my own problems. You stare in that mirror as long as it takes! And keep practicing a life of charity as it will bring fulfillment like nothing else!

looking in.

Have you ever found yourself looking in the mirror at your reflection and asking yourself, “Well, what now?” Ever asked yourself, “What are you waiting for?” I was today pondering those very questions as I stood in a hospital elevator staring at my reflection in the elevator mirror trying to work out why I was so restless. The look on my face said it all because as I stood there staring at myself with a very restless and heavy heart I realised that things needed to change and, that it was time to change it. Let me explain further.

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I have a heart for helping people, especially the hurting and the broken. My heart breaks when I see someone hurting and all I want to do is go and comfort them, hug them and try to make them feel better. I also find that I at times attract people who are…

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Degrees of Giving: 9 Practical Tips to Enhance Your Generosity

cf02f0ea8220c6ce99764a33d0241622There are many ways to give back to your community, coworkers, family and friends.  I found this article on and it provides 9 great tips on enhancing your generosity:

7 Organizations that Will Help You Learn to Give

photo 2Volunteering will change your perspective and possibly change your life!!  I have included the links to a few organizations here for you to click and read about the ease with which you can get involved.  Don’t live a life simply focusing on yourself, but learn to give back to your community.

The fulfillment you are looking for is found in giving of yourself.

Getting Involved with Habitat for Humanity

Volunteering not only changes the lives of those in need, it will change your life as well!

the canadian camino

I absolutely love working with Habitat for Humanity. I’ve made amazing friends from my host country, learned how to push myself through fear and doubt, work as part of a team, and broadened my horizons in terms of how I see the world. There are a lot of problems in our world that can be understood better when it comes from the source, and working alongside locals gives you an unparalleled experience. A build can push you physically, but the friendship and camaraderie that goes hand in hand with the build makes it worth it.

A Typical Habitat Day
Builds usually run for a week, but sometimes it’s up to two depending on the country and the structure. The first night is a get-to-know-you/travel from airport type of day, and the schedule is usually something like this:
Day 1-4: Breakfast at hotel. Travel to build site for 8:30am. Work until…

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