There’s nothing like living in a freezing house to put life in perspective….
Did you miss me last week when I didn’t turn up as usual on Christmas Eve Tuesday?
I wasn’t able to post as I intended because….
…the weather made me do it!
This is NOT a case of “the dog ate my homework”! Lookit this….
Toronto was hit by a massive ice storm the likes of which we have never seen, and it knocked out power to over 265,000 hydro customers including hospitals, hotels, apartment buildings, seniors’ residences, stores and individual homes.
There were power lines and trees down across residential streets all over the city…it’s as close to a war zone as I’ve ever seen or ever want to see.
We were without power for 86 hours and the ambient temperature in the house dropped to 5’C (that’s about 40’F for my American friends), it was c-c-c-cold!
Even the dog was trying to stay warm!
Closing off the living room from the rest of the house and keeping the fireplace well stoked and many candles going all day and evening kept the room reasonably warm. But day one it was still a balmy 15’C (60’F) in the house so we decided we would make this fun!! We would create a winter camping adventure, so we set up a picnic brekkie by the fire in the living room! We didn’t yet know we had 4 full days to go….and that the temperature in the house would drop and drop and drop as low as it did and that the plumbing pipes would be at risk of freezing…
By day 4, Christmas morning when we still had no power and we reluctantly dragged ourselves out from under piles of covers into the icy kitchen where we could see our breath, to light the gas cooktop to keep pots of water warm, heat the room and make a breakfast of my grandmother’s cheese blintzes…
…we were starting to get discouraged.
That’s when I thought about how lucky we are.
That’s when I started to think more about the kids.
Not just any kids.
The ones who have been abused, neglected and or abandoned by their families and are living on the streets because they have nowhere else to go.
In this freezing weather.
As a parent of a 22-year old young man of whom I’m wildly proud, and who has been the cornerstone of my life, I can’t even begin to imagine how a parent mistreats or even disregards or resents their child. But some do. And all over the world, these children, the future of our world, are at a huge disadvantage in life, and will struggle just to survive, never mind being productive members of society. But on Christmas morning, to know that there are hundreds of kids in my own prosperous city of Toronto, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and who didn’t have the prospect of a tree with gifts beneath and a warm cozy Christmas morning with family, was very hard to fathom.
Enter the organization called Covenant House, whose mandate is to feed, clothe, house and support these kids who have no where else to turn.
As you might imagine, winter is a terribly tough time for kids who live on the street. Our harsh climate is unforgiving and beats down even those of us who have beautiful homes to go to. Covenant House strives to never turn a kid away who needs their help. They know they need to provide stability in lives who have never known that comfort. So they need our help.
For the last couple of years, on behalf of my clients, I have donated money to Covenant House in lieu of a Christmas gift. We all really do have enough “stuff”, and I know that my clients appreciate contributing to the welfare of these kids.
Also, this coming year will see Sieguzi Kitchen & Home and Renovation Bootcamp launching a comprehensive online design program that will donate a portion of the revenue to Covenant House on an ongoing basis. I’ve launched a successful son, business and book, and now I want to help launch some other young people with support in any way I can.
I’m asking for your help in a few ways. If you are considering worthy organizations to donate to this holiday season or in 2014, please consider supporting the work of Covenant House.
If you know of anyone who needs design or decor services in the next year, please consider referring them to me. As part of my forthcoming online design program, in addition to concept drawings and phone consultations, I will provide virtual sample boards with online sources and links for purchasing the products that I specify from online vendors with whom I’ve developed affiliate relationships. Through these affiliate links, I will make a small commission when a purchase is made. For each $100 spent, I will donate 20% of my affiliate revenue to Covenant House.
If you know anyone who needs an entertaining and engaging speaker, I donate a portion of my speaking fee and book sales to Covenant House, so please consider referring me for speaking engagements. I speak at home shows, corporate events, trade shows, private events, schools and country clubs.
I will appreciate anything you can do to help me help the kids.
And with all the very best wishes for a wonderful New Year and beyond,
let’s all put our lives in perspective!
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