2022 Annual Report | Full Edition






In the late ’80s, I was fed up with my job. I was trying to make a living as a musician, but then I had a health crisis and decided it was time to change everything about my life. I left Toronto for Victoria and went to school to become a nurse. It was an early mid-life crisis. I spent my career working for a non-profit society that provides group homes for people with disabilities. It was very rewarding. I wanted to get into something where I felt like I was giving back and making a positive change in the world. It’s why I support Plan [International Canada]. I can see that it’s trying to make sustainable change. Given the state of the world, it’s easy to become numbed by all the bad news and think there’s nothing you can do about it. Or you can choose to make a difference. One of the things that drew me to Plan [International Canada] was its positive outlook on the future. This is why I’ve been a long-time supporter of Because I am a Girl and Gifts of Hope as well as Plan International Canada’s emergency appeals.

I was 25 and travelling around the world when I met my partner, who is from Thailand. We went on a trip to Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, and it was a life-changing experience. All of these kids ran up to me and were pulling on my shirt and asking for food. This was my first time outside of North America, and those kids had a huge impact on me. I’m a teacher, so seeing kids who are forced to sell things to survive instead of being in school compelled me to want to help. When I came back home, I did some research and discovered Plan [International Canada]. I liked how its programs are community-based. I signed up for the Child Sponsorship program. I made the payments once a month from the money I earned from playing music and felt good knowing that it was being used to help children go to school. I’ve always believed there’s a link between music and the arts and giving back. I’ve used proceeds from songs, tours, books and articles to continue to fund education scholarships with matched funds. I think I’ve contributed to the education of 32 kids so far, but my goal is to get to 100.

At Christmastime, all the adults in my life get Gifts of Hope. They love seeing the connection to something good, whether that’s a family receiving a goat or medical kits being supplied to health care workers. I’m inspired by something that Yuval Noah Harari wrote. Harari is an Israeli historian who has an inspiring and countering point of view for anyone who wants to give up because it feels like everything is so bad. He says that some things are getting better and some things are getting worse. But as long as some things are getting better, you can hope that other things will get better too. I learned that when I was a nurse – you can’t fix everything, but you can fix some things, and that’s good.

“One of the things that drew me to Plan International Canada was its positive outlook about the future.” – Charles Fox

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Angkor Wat temple, in Cambodia, where supporters Michael J. Waring and Jeff Gunn were first inspired to take action; children receive their Gifts of Hope goats in Bangladesh; three girls in a classroom in Somalia

90 | 2022 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report | 91

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