Genesis of the Grateful Heart Foundation


“ leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

In July 2007, I attended Jack Canfield’s ‘Breakthrough to Success’ - an intensive seven-day program designed to “up-level your life.”

The program rekindled a long-held desire to leave a legacy to those less fortunate than me. I pushed aside limiting beliefs and insecurities, and found the confidence to put the plan into action immediately.

After exhaustive research on establishing a charitable organization, Kim Veness (whom I serendipitously met at the Canfield program in Scottsdale, Arizona) referred me to The Calgary Foundation - a perfect fit.

I recently shared information about The Calgary Foundation with a couple of young people I feel privileged to know. Just 16 and 23 years of age, they are now saving money and seeking donations to start funds of their own - one dedicated to animal welfare, the other to the well-being of the environment. (I will provide more details of their personal journeys as they evolve). Through their demonstrated leadership and initiative, these wise young people are paving an exemplary way for their peers.

Such people inspire me, make me ever more aware of generosity’s ripple effect, and remind me of the difference each of us can make…one person at a time. I’ve seen the difference a small contribution, gesture or kindness can have on someone’s day, and I believe there is unlimited power in numbers and group energy to create and sustain the momentum of change.

The Next Chapter

Though my heart remains heavy, I have gained the strength at last to talk about the loss of my grandparents – two dear souls who meant everything to me.

A couple of months after the photo shoot for this Web site, Margaret fell while assisting another elderly lady. Due to complications arising from the subsequent surgery, she passed away just shy of her 89th birthday. Her bravery and grace in the hospital were a testament to her strength of character. I will always remember how hard she fought to stay with us; she truly valued her life and the people she loved.

This left Cyril, who struggled in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, to care for himself at the age of 92 – a task he simply wasn’t up to. With an anticipatory heart, he joined Margaret four months to the day of her passing. In his final few months, he called their old phone number over and over, tirelessly trying to find her. Though difficult to watch, it spoke resoundingly to the powerful bond they had formed during their 73 years together.

I want to extend a very special thank you to Kirsten McEwing of Kaizen Fotodesign, who generously and lovingly captured my grandparents’ essence on a magical day in October 2007. The photos she took will always be treasured.

Kirsten made Margaret feel like a princess and a celebrity, and my grandmother beamed through the entire shoot. Cyril put up a fuss at first, choosing to be a bit cantankerous in the way that only old men can. But once downtown at City Hall – and the centre of attention – he even went so far as to enjoy himself. He always did have a weak spot for a beautiful blonde, and whatever Kirsten asked of him, he happily obliged.

I am so glad The Grateful Heart Foundation was created while both Margaret and Cyril were still alive. I am committed to seeing The Grateful Heart Foundation succeed as a tribute to two of the most amazing people I’ve known. They knew something special had been started and were honored to be the reason behind it.



twitter    facebook        JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST       LINKS        CONTRIBUTORS
Site design by Insight Studios Inc    -    Photography by Kirsten McEwing    -    Privacy Statement    -   © 2008 THE GRATEFUL HEART FOUNDATION - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED