Choices Change Lives

It’s my birthday today,  so if you’ll indulge me I’m not going to talk about politics. There are 364 other days in the year for being bitter & cynical, which for the record I enjoy. You don’t have to read this, but if you don’t you owe me a present, or a pint. Your call.

I’m going to talk about  Community Living Toronto instead. If you don’t want to buy me a pint for my birthday you could also donate to them. They are a worthy cause but if you don’t want to take my word for it then read on.

Community Living Toronto is a charity I volunteer for occasionally, and donate money or tickets to sometimes as well. Aside from working on my karma, I do this mostly because my sister in law works for them. No inspirational story here, just good old fashioned nepotism. I’m incredibly glad she does though, or I may never have had the chance.

Community Living Toronto is a charity that supports people with an intellectual disability. I can honestly say if you spend a day volunteering for them you’ll want to spend another. Unless you aren’t a fan of seeing infectious happiness personified, and knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life?

Community Living Toronto is dedicated to improving the lives of people with an intellectual disability. People who often live on ODSP, have limited employment options, and are often denied the sort of basic respect you and I take for granted. What’s sad is this all represents an upgrade for many of them. What’s incredible is you might never know any of that sadness in spending anytime with them.

I have met countless people with an intellectual disability who live their lives with such happiness, enthusiasm, and compassion for others I wonder which one of us is supposed to be labelled as disabled.  If their lives ever improved to the point that Community Living Toronto was no longer necessary I don’t know if society could handle that much unbridled joy. I’d like to find out though.

Choices change lives is the motto of Community Living Toronto. They will tell you that any chance they get, and it’s true. What they don’t tell you is the lives of their volunteers are changed, every bit as much as those whom they support.

I’ll be back to being a cranky old, and now older, cynic tomorrow. Till then go find a way to do some good. You might not change someone’s life, but they just might change yours.

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