Why I’m reminded to take a step back

Xerox employees asked their children to draw a picture of what they imaged for their community and what they were doing to make that community a reality. This is Colin’s picture of a young boy donating bags to a donation truck.

It’s hard to believe but it’s already been a month and a half since we launched our annual campaign and invited Torontonians to Imagine a City.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started this conversation. I’d never blogged before and I had no idea how our community would react. But at the same time, I was excited about the new places Imagine a City could take us — and the ideas people might share.

A friend recently made my day when she said she checked imagineacity.ca every morning for new posts. She told me how inspired she was by our community bloggers. Just like her, I look forward to reading their personal stories and learning about their visions for Toronto. But I’ve also enjoyed what you, our readers, have had to say. Some of you wish more was being done to address the gaps between the many different communities in Toronto. Some of you want to support youth in new ways. All of you dream of a better future.

I’m really looking forward to reading more from you through the Imagine a City giveaway. We’re inviting you, whoever you are, wherever you work, whatever you do, to tell us what your ideal Toronto looks like.

This concept has extended beyond our blogosphere. A few weeks ago the staff at Xerox, as part of their campaign to raise money for United Way, asked their children to imagine a city through their Art of Caring project. You can see just one example of that creative artwork at the top of my post.

In some ways, I think taking part in any United Way campaign is a way of imagining a better Toronto. People give, volunteer and engage with us because they want to make our city stronger. They canvass their colleagues for donations, volunteer at a community agency, and they even climb the 1,776 steps of the CN Tower — all because they imagine a Toronto that’s full of opportunities.

We can all get caught up in our own busy lives. Imagine a City has reminded me how important it is to take a step back. It’s been an opportunity to reflect on some of Toronto’s challenges. I read posts from my fellow bloggers and think, in a broad way, about the kind of city United Way is partnering with others to create. It’s been (and continues to be) so valuable to me. I hope it’s been valuable to you too and you’ll keep engaging with us on the blog.