At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Special Adventure

For several weeks, while driving to work each day, I would pass a great big sign that read “EDDIE BAUER TENT SALE 70% OFF! Saturday, October 19th” and It just so happened that I did need a new tent (or two!) for camping. What a deal, and perfect timing too!

As a special adventure, my Little Brothers Matthew and Danny and I got up very early that Saturday morning, not wanting to miss getting the best tents. I knew that with prices like that, they would go fast. This was going to be a great lesson to the boys about the power of observation skills, patience, and frugality.

We got to the store before 8 A.M. There was a huge outdoor display being set up with signs and banners… staff were working under a great, big canopy over a large part of the parking lot, moving boxes around… We patiently waited until the appointed opening time, and then bolted into the store. I breathlessly cornered the first salesperson and asked “Which way to your tents?!” There was a strange pause that I attributed to the early hour and a lack of caffeine, but the eventual answer was something like “…Um, it’s out in the parking lot…”

Great! We ran over to the big canopy (some may refer to these things as “tents” by the way), and I asked the salesperson, excitedly, where the tents were. I had to repeat my question, and after a semi-glazed look and a “pardon?”, I repeated my question again. I mentioned the sign about the tents advertised on the road-side sign for the past few weeks. With some cautious trepidation, the salesperson indicated upward and said “Um, sir, we don’t have any tents. We only have clothes for sale… …in this tent…” There was a long and awkward pause as I processed this.

“Um, oh… I ah see. It’s a sale in a tent… Right. Um. Thank you…”

Back at the car, the boys were beside themselves laughing at me and making fun of this whole scene. They saw it all play out.
“But Eddie Bauer really does make tents! I saw them online!” I insisted.
Apparently, those tents were only sold in the USA.

We went and had enormous consolation breakfast instead, and I sulked in my maple syrop.

The “boys”, who are now 20 and 24 years old respectively, still like to ask me if I know of any good upcoming tent sales.

Joel Porter
Big Brother

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

International Women’s Day Celebration- Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence Against Women

On International Women's Day, Canadians participate in a worldwide celebration of women, peace and human rights. Canada's theme for International Women's Day 2013 is Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women.

Violence against women affects us all and men and women must be part of the solution. On International Women's Day 2013, The Status Women of Canada calls on all Canadians to work together to end violence against women. Violence is not just a women's issue: men have key roles to play in making our country safe for everyone.

A survey for the White Ribbon Campaign found 75% of men felt it was very important to speak out on violence against women, and 66% felt they could be doing more. Canada's theme aligns with United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's theme for its 57th session, Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters we believe it is important to positively shape the lives of young women and girls by helping them build a positive self-image and setting them on a path to reach their full potential in life. Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds is a group mentoring program for girls through Big Brothers Big Sisters that is geared towards girls between the ages of 12-14 and focuses on physical activity, balanced eating and self-esteem.

For information on the Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds mentoring program, click here...

On International Women's Day and throughout International Women's Week 2013 (Sunday, March 3 to Saturday, March 9), Big Brothers Big Sisters joins Canadians from coast to coast as we reflect on the impacts of violence against women.

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day? Tell us below!