My charity event, Shopping From The Heart, has been a labor of love for me. It started out as a small idea, and with the help of my blog, was able to become something special. And while it has grown each year, I felt that there needed to be a change to make it bigger and better moving forward. To be honest, I have asked others, looked for advice and even considered taking a year off, unsure that I could make the event more successful on my own.
A couple of moments this year solidified my desire to keep the event running. I took a trip to Toronto with Tanya (montrealmom.com) for the Archangel Summit. Being in a room with so many like-minded entrepreneurs that were passionate about making the world a better place was exciting. I listened to the incredible speakers such as Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, JJ Virgin, Robin Sharma and many others, and they gave me the drive to continue with this charity. I left pumped but unsure of how to make it work more successfully. (More on the summit in a future post.)
Then I was reminded of the moment I spoke with Craig Kielburger in Montreal, just after WE Day. I ran down everything with him. I explained the event, the participants, the fact that I was doing it with little help…This man who has been raising money and massive awareness for so many important causes told me I was doing great, and that I should be proud of it. So I decided, I would continue and be happy with the same amount of raised funds for charity, because if anything, it was helping at some level.
The women in business that have come year after year have been there, partly for networking and growing their business, but mainly because they wanted to support a special charity such as this. As moving as this is, I felt an obligation to try harder to help spotlight them in some way. But how?
Then something awesome happened. I was approached by the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation. Seeing the efforts and results that SFTH has brought to them, they graciously invited me to partner with them exclusively. It was a difficult decision to move away from two other foundations that I hold dear, but it needed to be done. I hope to donate in other ways to the RVHF and the MCHF since they are significant to so many families in Montreal.
Partnering exclusively with the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation made sense in many ways. First and foremost, they are the closest foundation geographically to the women in business that attend the event, as well as the event itself. Second, having a partner in the LGHF means that the event will take on new life with much more help. The foundation has many corporate sponsors and partners that will be ready to help in our efforts for our charity event. Visibility will be greater, and more connections will be made.
A Change for the Better
This year’s event is proving to be one that will change the concept of SFTH. I have been listening to many vendors, past and present, as well as attendees that have supported the event from the start. This year, all those suggestions and comments will be put into place with a new and improved event. While these changes are all still in the works, what I can share with you is that the event will be more creative and inspiring and will encompass a women’s event with pampering galore
I look forward to working closely with the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation in making this event very special! Will you join me? Check out ShoppingFromTheHeart.ca and let me know in the comment here or there what you would like to see in a women’s event, as well as how you would like to participate. If you live in Montreal, you can simply come and have a great time, while supporting your local hospital. And if you are far away, you can donate on the charity website. All efforts are greatly appreciated!
Please note: photographs above from #SFTH2016 were taken by Valerie Pyke.