By Tristan Kong
Finding purpose is one of those challenging moments we all inevitably face in our lives, where we assess the reason for doing what we do. One day in November 2015, Montrealer Kendra Caron decided that it was time to act on her good intentions, and achieve her purpose for making a difference in people's lives.
Caron, like many others, wanted to volunteer somewhere. Intimidated, and worried she would never find the right placement for her, she reached out to her sister Britt, in Toronto for help.
Based on a similar activity she had participated in before, her sister suggested organizing a fundraiser gathering purses, and filling them with items that women could benefit from – deodorant, soaps, tampons, books, hats, condoms, some Tim Hortons gift cards and more.
“She told me I should start this up with my friends, and I loved the idea,” said Caron.
“I got motivated, because I started seeing it as something that could become more than just one night of filling up purses, and hanging out with friends.”
With this inspiration, Caron started a local 'Purses for Women In Need', donating over 30 purses to a native women's shelter, and the rest to a Montreal social services organization called Logifem, which helps transition women. After sharing her idea with various people she knew, she saw it starting to grow into something bigger.
It became a network, and gathering of women in Montreal with common values, who empowered each other, and their community.
With the help of her friends, Caron found it easy to not only branch out the fundraiser to others who were like-minded, but stay motivated, and focused herself.
The project involves Caron turning some of her time to relax outside of her work into something productive, but has also brought her something much more rewarding: motivation for her life.
While Caron is just starting on her journey, she believes that any activity like this, big or small, can create the same ripple effect.
Her advice to others looking to get involved in their community is to share their idea with someone else they know.
Caron says there is a tendency for people to want to do things from start to finish by themselves, but it's not the only way. Sharing opens the door to the great ideas others may have, and our chances of following through with plans increase because we create self-accountability.
This is what Stir believes is motivating, and inspiring to others to make a difference. Hopefully it will inspire you to make a difference for others too!