September 2014 STS – When Your Message is Your Cause

When Your Message is Your Cause

If you were to look around your chapter, you would find many CAPS colleagues who are passionately committed to making their communities better. Perhaps they serve CAPS or are committed to another professional association.   Perhaps they are dedicated to a specific community cause or they work on behalf of an organization that has personal relevance to them.

For some CAPS members, supporting worthy causes and those in need is simply an extension of their speaking. In this issue, we introduce you to two such members who have integrated their support of those in need with their speaking.

Carolyn Schur, CAPS SK, helps her clients sleep better so they feel better and work better. “People don’t get the sleep they need for many reasons” she says. Some are shiftworkers. Others have sleep disorders. “But I was stunned to learn that many people do not get the sleep they need because they do not have a safe place to sleep.”

This sad fact was made real to her when she was giving a presentation about sleep at a high school and encountered students whose sleepiness was a function of homelessness. “How could they think about studying when they were consumed about finding a place to sleep and be safe that night?”

In an effort to bring attention to this problem, she started to conclude her corporate and association presentations with a reminder to participants that people in their community may not have a safe place to sleep. “And I’d encourage them to contribute to causes that address homelessness.”

But she wanted to do more.  “I thought it was manifestly unfair that students should have this barrier to success.” She envisioned a residence for homeless students and garnered the support of health, social and educational agencies in Saskatoon. Together, they initiated the Sweet Dreams project.

The goal of Sweet Dreams is to provide young students with a safe place to live and remove the barriers that affect their ability to achieve their educational and personal goals. “I’m happy to say that Sweet Dreams is now a reality and accommodates seven young female students and their children.”

Les Kletke, CAPS MB, also found an avenue to extend his professional work to support someone who needed a hand up. Les is a travel writer and speaker and while traveling in Asia, he met a tour guide with dreams of having her own travel business.

“She was a very skilled guide,” Les says, “and I could see that she really had the drive and the skills to be very successful.” But there was only one catch, the guide needed $1000 to start her business.

“When I got home,” Les says, “I started telling her story during my presentations and I was surprised to find people offering donations to help this young guide. In a short time, I had collected enough funds to make her dream of a travel business possible.”

Both Les and Carolyn have found it possible to use the platform not only to benefit their clients but also to benefit those less fortunate in their communities.  “The real advantage,” says Carolyn “is that I am congruent with my message. I am as passionate about helping the tired shiftworker or the frustrated insomniac as I am about ensuring that everyone has a safe place to sleep.”

What cause that is congruent with your message can you incorporate into your platform presentation?

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