A Walk in Other’s Shoes is returning to this year’s Week of Action Against Poverty. This challenge is being undertaken by individuals in the community who have interests within the health field. Participants have been asked to attempt to stay within a social assistance benefits’ budget. A single person on Ontario Works would receive $337 monthly for all of their personal needs and $384 for all of their shelter costs. Because participants cannot replicate the housing conditions realistically, shelter costs are not included within this challenge. For the five day challenge, participants will have $11 daily to cover all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each day, every participant will be given a challenge card which will reveal an unexpected challenge to be completed before the end of the day.

A Walk in Other’s Shoes is not a competitive challenge. It is a challenge that raises awareness of the hurdles that people living on social assistance face daily. As we within our community develop our own understanding, we can begin to reduce the barriers that they encounter and ultimately increase opportunities for increased prosperity for all. The challenge takes place February 10th-14th, 2018.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Feb. 14, 2018- my final blog

Today was my last day of the poverty challenge, which I'm not sad to see come but am so very grateful for experiencing.
I packed my usual lunch before heading to the office, but was pleasantly surprised with the donated pizza provided for all the staff. I don't normally eat pizza, however there were 2 gluten free options which I most certainly wasn't going to turn down.
I have learned so much on this challenge. I learned for one that I have become a convenience shopper. Instead of stopping at another store to save substantial amounts on a product, I just buy it all at one store to save time. Not anymore. I will only buy Dairyland milk for my family now as Shoppers and Walmart only accept that brand of milk jugs to collect your .25 cent deposit. In the past, I have thrown all milk containers in the recycle. You add that up over the course of a month or a year, and that's a lot of wasted money. I will buy what's on my list instead of adding extra items which I don't need. But the most important thing I will do is, after spending 5 days closed off without being able to connect with friends and family, if someone takes the time to text and are therefore clearly thinking of me, and I can take the time to read it, I will respond. If I don't have time to respond, I wont bother opening it until I can.
I noticed with all of my challenge cards, there wasn't anything positive that happened to me. I honestly believe that if everyday bad things keep happening to you, you need to send out different vibes into the universe, cause even if just nothing bad happens, that's a good day.
When looking at the world now, I see a lot more oranges, reds and yellows but at the same time see some blacks and greys. If we all did one thing each day to try to improve someone's day, a relative, co-worker or a strangers life, they too are likely to do the same. Not necessarily in a monetary way, just something to make them smile and feel good about themselves, a kind word even, this world would be a better place.

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