This Giving Tuesday, I’m thinking about gratitude
Nov 27, 2020
By Barbara Grantham, President and CEO, CARE Canada
I sat down today to write about what the next few days mean to me, personally.
I mean the really, truly, life-changing kind of meaning.
Seventy-five years ago, my mother’s family bore witness to horrors of the Second World War. While so many others did not survive, my grandparents and their two daughters did. My grandparents brought their family to Canada, where they had a chance to start anew. I was taught, from a very early age, to be profoundly grateful for opportunities that were possible for my family here in Canada and that millions of others did not have.
That war, a crisis of global reach and proportion, spurred global solidarity in its aftermath. And on November 27, 1945, CARE was founded to deliver urgently needed food aid to those in Europe who needed it most.
CARE evolved over the years, as the ‘call’ and need for global solidarity evolved. My family established themselves with a good life in Canada, with a commitment to serving others because of the good fortune afforded them. And learning from my grandmother and my mother, I’ve committed my career to serving others, because of the gratitude I owe to those who came before me, who took action for those in crisis and who reached beyond borders to build a more equal, more resilient world.
I started my tenure here at CARE Canada in April of this year, just as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. CARE’s staff teams in our offices all over the world, working in their own countries and communities, responded rapidly and forcefully to a threat that continues to widen gaps between rich and poor, between men and women, between those who are heard and those who are not.
And so it’s with an overwhelming sense of urgency, as well as gratitude, that my single focus in the face of this global pandemic is to build support for those who deserve it most right now.
I can picture my grandmother, fierce as she was, taking my mother by the hand and telling her (with full certainty) that they would build a better life and live in a better world. My grandmother faced the world with strength and determination. She led her family through crisis.
Today, there are many grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters, leading their families and communities through not just the COVID-19 crisis, but also through crises of lost opportunity, safety and health. We can’t see them from here, and we might not know their names, but you and I know they need our support. We are now in a similar position to those generous Canadians who sent the very first CARE Packages® to Europe, to help my family and thousands of others. You and I have the opportunity to help those who need it most, right now.
On December 1, this coming Tuesday, after the sales have counted down and the shopping frenzy is over, I will mark Giving Tuesday with family, colleagues, partners and friends. I hope you will join me.
On Tuesday, we have the opportunity to celebrate what makes us most human—the caring and the humanity we share. Just as it did 75 years ago, the world needs CARE today, perhaps more so than ever. Supporters like you have called upon CARE to send hope and help to those who need and deserve it most and I know that this Giving Tuesday will be no different.