Contribute To Continuing A Legacy Rather Than Being A Slave To The Corporate World

My story at the Terry Fox Foundation will explain why everyone needs to stop chasing the dream of success through the corporate world and open their eyes to the possibilities that nonprofits have to offer because “anything’s possible if you try” – Terry Fox.

Let me start off my story by acknowledging that I was just as naive as many others are to the possibility that a charity could teach you so much more than sitting at a desk doing the same three tasks on repeat. I was taught that the corporate world was where I needed to be to learn and become successful. While browsing through the many job listings, the thousands of charities looking for compassionate people to join their team to raise awareness for the numerous issues that plague this world are often overlooked. Once I took the leap of faith to try something outside of my comfort zone, I knew very early on that this was the best decision I could have made. I am going to specifically speak on why doing your co-op at the Terry Fox Foundation is the way to go. I could go on to tell you about the basic office skills I learned but I want to go beyond the mundane to speak about the life experiences I gained from the team and supporters of the foundation.

  1. Carrying on One of the Greatest Canadian’s Dream Should Be Enough Said: Shouldn’t that be enough said? If that is not enough to convince you to ditch the corporate world fantasy, I am going to change your mind. I was intrigued to take this position as I grew up learning and fundraising in honour of Terry Fox since I entered school. At first I did these little jobs that allowed me to dip my hand into a little pot of everything which was fulfilling in itself as I was learning a lot, but it was not until I did the marketing for the Silver Fox Events (a fundraising event for seniors) and saw my little bits of work coming together that I realized I had contributed more than just money to continuing Terry Fox’s legacy. Like I said, shouldn’t that be enough said? But if you insist on hearing more, I am going to tell you the exact moment I knew my work was part of something greater. 
  2. Where Else Can You Pick Up the Phone and Hear First Hand Stories About a Legend: With any job, you will learn the mundane customer service skills such as answering the phones and calling back people. I will finally get to this story I was mentioning above that really solidified this was the best experience I was not looking for but stumbled across. One day I was calling back those who called after Terry fox: The Power of One (give it a watch…seriously you’ll be inspired and be a part of the great Canadian’s dream by continuing his legacy). I called this 92 year old lady and she asked me to make a donation as she said she’s way too old to deal with all this technology which already put a smile on my face. She went on to thank me and told me it was people like me that continue to carry on the legacy of a man that she looked up to when he ran his Marathon of Hope. This was the moment I knew I was fulfilled with more than just a pay cheque for working. 
  3. Working With Those Who Truly Understand the Cause: I do not know how many other charities have the family of the person they’re raising donations in honour of part of the non-profit but the Terry Fox Foundation has the Fox family working alongside of you, sharing their own stories that remind me why I am giving my A game everyday. Having Terry Fox’s sister, Judith, share some of her own stories about her brother made me want to work that much harder as I learned for myself how caring this whole family is. Not to mention my supervisor, Donna who shared her own battle with cancer. Her own stories of helping cancer battlers achieve their dreams, such as, fulfilling a dying woman’s dream to travel to Spain and New York by collecting mementos from each city and sending them off to her, exemplified how caring and compassionate these people truly are. Each and everyone I encountered at the office had a great story about their own connection to cancer and why it is so important to fundraise for cancer research to allow those with cancer battles to have a happy ending to their story. 
  4. Being In an Environment Where Everyone Actually Wants to be There: I’ll keep this part short but seriously being in a work environment where everyone truly wants to be there and know that their work is contributing to something bigger than just making a big corporate company profit is something I will take with me to my future endeavors. Take Kirsten for an example, she was one of the first people I met at the office who radiated a kind personality and positive energy, I instantly knew that this office was a great place to be where I felt welcomed.

While I am speaking on personal experiences, these could apply to working for any charity as I am sure that a non-profit worth working for will have compassionate co-workers, touching stories, and members working for the cause rather than just a pay cheque.The amount of skills, compassion, and life lessons I have learned at the Terry Fox Foundation could not compare to anywhere else. This may be my first co-op but I firmly believe the future jobs I encounter will have a difficult time compared to the experience Donna, Kirsten, Judith, and the rest of the team provided me in the short amount of time I was there. 

To a world without cancer – Terry Fox,

taylor signing off for now

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