Your Notable Self in 2012: Charity Life is built on the premise of living the full, 360-degree young professional life, encompassing everything from social and charity life to professional endeavors. Each day for four days, we will be releasing a different inside look at how to be the most notable you in 2012. Our third installment of the series focuses on the charity life and all aspects of it that relate to one’s sense of giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate.

A key ingredient to a Notable young professional existence involves charitable involvement and giving back to our communities. Although we love to see our cities’ countless charity balls supported by our peers, charity work involves more than attending events and spending a pay cheque on the silent auction. With thick enough pockets, anyone can throw money at a cause (and we still admire those who do) but what really catches our attention are charity initiatives that require real work, dedication and effort, like the YP who volunteers at a camp for under-privileged children or the one who initiates, orchestrates and executes a new charity event. Adrian Grenier agrees – check out what he had to say to on the issue when we caught up with him at TIFF.

An all-too-common complaint among YPs is that there simply is not enough time to add another project to our already hectic schedules. We don’t know one YP who isn’t busy, yet we all have the same 24 hours in a day to allocate in terms of our priorities. The most notable YPs find ways to make it work, whether it means combining lunch with committee meetings, waking up an hour earlier each day or watching your favourite show while sending emails. 

It seems a trend that most young professionals’ charitable involvement is reactive rather than pro-active. When crisis hits, and an issue becomes personal, YPs are quick to organize, mobilize and fight for a particular cause. This is undoubtedly a remarkable and notable quality of our YP generation, something that sets us apart from YPs past. We challenge YPs, however, to not wait for this cue and to become involved and attached to a charity early in their careers. Do your research and choose something that matters to you. Meaningful charitable involvement can begin with something as simple as sitting on a charity ball committee or organizing a team for a charity volleyball tournament or bike ride. 

Of course, we do encourage you to attend as many charity events thrown by friends and peers as possible to ensure the long-term sustainability, growth and legacy of these great initiatives that have originated in our cities. Support for one another’s events will ensure the survival of a well-balanced system as a whole for now and future generations. 

Check out some of our most Notable young professional-oriented charity events and organizations:

Friends for Life Foundation
ROM’s Young Patron’s Circle
AGO Next

Black and Red Bash

Arts Umbrella’s ‘Splash!’
Face of Today
Dress for Success
Canadian Cancer Society’s ‘Daffodil Ball’

Denim & Diamonds
Kids for Kids
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Annual Ball

Other installments of Your Notable Self in 2012:
Professional Life
Social Life

Photo courtesy motionball