Tag: Volunteering

Doni Brasco’s “Cos I Can” Movement

9Sep

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Do you believe in the kindness of strangers? I remember one time being in Starbucks and the person ahead of me paid for my coffee. She gave the Barista 10 dollars, which covered my grande caramel frappacino.

That random act of kindness made me smile.

Imagine making over 100 lunches in one afternoon…

The whole point of making these lunches is just to make people smile.

Welcome to Doni Brasco’s “Cos I Can” movement.

Every month, Doni and his friends gather at his house to make over 100 lunches which include a peanutbutter/jelly sandwich, a fruit drink, an apple, a bag of crisp and a sweet cake.

They pick a spot around Newham and pass out the lunches to anyone who wants one.

Doni and I met through a mutual mate, but I’ve followed Doni’s career since Sunrise Radio. I fell in love with his outrageous sense of humour and his gutsy approach to push the envelope. There’s nothing stale about Doni’s shows and the way he mixes is absolutely superb.

I didn’t know any of Doni’s friends, but it felt a connection as we were making the sandwiches and packing the lunches. We all shared a common goal – to make people smile.

Doni explained to me that Newham has been rated one of the worst places to live in London. That’s what inspired Doni to start “Cos I Can” because he wanted to get past that bad image of Newham and spread cheer all around. I really admire that about him, you can be an amazing radio presenter on air, but be a real asshole off air. We’ve all come across those types, but Doni is all heart.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but as a newbie, Doni expected me to pass out the first two lunches along with his other mate.

I was rejected the first five times. I got weird looks, angry stares and a lot of hesitation. It made me think we’ve become so engaged in our own bubble that we’ve forgotten how to trust one another.

I can go on and on about the random folks we ran into. But let me tell you this one scenario, a man came up to Doni’s mate Mo and asked if Mo was a Muslim…

 “This has nothing to do with religion. Yes I am a Muslim but we also have a Sikh, Hindu and an agnostic with us. This is about spreading happiness and doing something nice for the Newham community.” Mo replied.

That showed me that some people believe if they get something for free, there always has to be some sort of hidden agenda.

I really enjoyed spending my Sunday in East Ham, getting to know Doni’s mates and being a part of “Cos I Can” it was just such a nice way to connect with humanity.

If you would like to be a part of “Cos I can” please join their facebook group.

Gurbaksh Starting a New Tradition…

11Jul

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Gurbaksh “G” Chahal has a birthday coming up, instead of asking for gifts – he’s asking for his family, friends and supporters to get out and volunteer. In a blog, he reflected on the last three years; his trials and tribulations.

“The last 3 years, especially, have been a roller-coaster ride. When I turned 25, I had my biggest success so far with BlueLithium. A year later, I was able to publish my book worldwide and got the chance to share my story with Oprah. This year, one of my parents dreams came true when I got an honorary doctorate from Pace University. And I started, a new chapter in my life with the launch of my third Company, gWallet. I can only hope I am able to continue the path of success and able to inspire others to also reach for their dreams.” stated Chahal.

He’s grown close to eight charities ranging from education, homelessness, disaster relief and children.

When we got to interview him back in December ’09, I got a chance to look into his eyes; there was this warmth, love and sincerity when he spoke about his Grandmother. In fact, right after the interview, he was on his way to his parents place to celebrate her birthday. She passed away a few months ago.

“I have the opportunity to help out and not a day goes by without me thanking God for this chance. I also realized the more chances I get to help, I’ll continue to make my grandmother smile from up above. So, this year, I’m actually starting a new tradition. Instead of focusing on gifts (as we normally do on birthdays)…I want to dedicate it to philanthropy.” says Chahal.

After reading his blog entry, it made me think of how I would like to spend my time volunteering, I’m sure it left the same impact on other readers as well. Whether its an hour a week or month, your time is precious; to give it away selflessly leaves a footprint of compassion.

Happy Birthday G, have fun in spain (for you World Cup fans – G is rooting for Spain)

Volunteer listings from Chahal.com

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.streetkids.org/

http://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/pages/default.aspx

http://www.nanubhai.org/

http://www.raphaelhouse.org/

http://www.stanthonysf.org/

About Author: Petz lives in a media cave and today is rooting for the Netherlands (Sorry G)