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If I had a million dollars...

If you had a million dollars, what charity would you donate to? Thinking about this question had me floored for a while. How do you choose just one?? How do you decide which cause trumps another?

The answer is simple - every cause out there merits attention. Children with special needs, cancer research, hospitals, homeless shelters, environmental groups...the list goes on! What's important is that a charity means something personal to us - somehow, we have been touched by something and believe passionately that we must make a difference in the world.

So, in light of a recent conversation, I believe that my money (if there was ONE MILLION DOLLARS in my bank account...hehe, I can't help but do that in an Austin Powers voice) would go to Hopewell, Ottawa's Eating Disorder Support Centre.

Now, I think that I might be slightly biased towards this wonderful local charity. I worked there for two years as their Program Coordinator - organizing support groups, applying for funding and developing new programs. But there is no better way to get to know more about a charity than to work with one :)

According to experts, we currently have an "epidemic" of overweight and obese children in our society. When we think about weight, we normally don't think about eating disorders - that's because we picture the stereotypical case of anorexia, when an individual restricts food intake. But eating disorders run on a wide spectrum, and there are such a variety of issues. Many eating disorders begin in childhood, and children are not taught about what it means to have a healthy relationship with our bodies and our food.

That's where Hopewell comes in - although they also provide front-line services for those individuals who are very ill, they are also focused on prevention. Getting to the root cause of our challenges with food and weight are essential in solving the current epidemic. And we won't be able to do it without a fundamental shift in our thinking - shaming, extreme diets, and weight loss surgery are NOT the way to go.

If you've never heard of Hopewell, please check them out! Consider donating to this amazing organization, whether you have $5 or $1,000,000