We are all feeling a little bit like this fellow after the longest year of our lives. Thanks for taking the time to read our newsletter, and we hope that you and your families have a much less adventurous and stressful year next year.

We’ve spent the last few weeks wondering what kind of story we should share to close out this crazy, crazy year. It has been a year of resilience, a year of solitude, and a year of chaos all rolled up into one. So, in that light, we would like to talk about the most important part of our work: you.

Our blogs are designed to empower and inspire our audience. Nothing has enriched us more than seeing you, our clients and our readers do so many wonderful and incredible things this year. We are honoured and grateful to have come to know you. In that spirit, we would like to share a few stories of how you have inspired us during 2020.

You are the most caring people we know

In March, as Ontario went into lockdown, we let our local clients know that we would be happy to assist with grocery runs or shopping for necessities. The response was amazing – it turned out that no one needed our help, but our inboxes were flooded with so many of you offering to do runs for us if we had people in need of help in your part of town. It reminded us, yet again, why we’re so excited to get up each morning to go to work and why we love working with you.

And then there were the phone calls and emails – so many of you randomly checking in on us, to see how our families were doing, and how we were holding up. That meant the world to us.

You gave hope to so many charities across Canada

One of our favourite moments was when we received this incredibly heart-warming email from one of you back in April:

“Hi Ryan – Do you know of any charities that are really struggling right now because of COVID-19 and could use a donation?”

We wrote back with a few suggestions, knowing the reader’s area of interest. One reader replied back with the most heart-warming response, which we then shared with our hundreds of connections in the charity world:

“Thanks for your Suggestions! You can tell your charity friends that its fine to ask. A lot of my coworkers are talking about ways we can help and charities get brought up a lot”.

That email meant a lot to the many, many charities across Canada who were wondering if it was even appropriate to ask for help when so many people were experiencing such hard times. This email gave them permission.

In fact, a screenshot of that email (with names blacked out to protect privacy) went on to be shared via social media from coast to coast. We don’t know the full extent, as it was reposted many times, but the impact was that it was seen by at least 3000 people. That’s quite the impact!

You shared with us the stories of people who inspired your lives

In the late spring, Sarah shared the story of her grandmother with our readers when Ryan was tapped out of ideas. So many people wrote to us to talk about how moving and timely her story was. They shared their memories of the resilient people in their lives that were motivating them in their moments of need. It was an incredible outpouring that revealed the nostalgic, hopeful hearts in all of us. It also revealed a sense of reflection this pandemic has brought to our lives, our families and our values.

What we have learned from you

In an era where it is so easy to be caught up in the fast pace of life, it has been particularly jarring to be thrust into our own socially distant fishbowls. We know that for all of us, this year has been evoking emotions that will take time to unpack and resolve. We have found that 2020 has been a reminder of the things that matter most: the people who impact our journey and the values that drive us through adversity. Here in our office, we have been honoured to have (socially distanced!) you, along this journey with us.

We know this holiday season not everyone will be able to spend time with family and friends like years past. Instead, we’ll find comfort and joy by letting you know that we see you, our readers, as part of our family and that you inspire us and enrich our lives. We hope we’ve been able to do the same for you. Together, we’ve been able to shine a bit of light in a difficult and challenging year.

We look forward to seeing many of you safely in person, sometime in the New Year (or two?!!). All the best to you and your family this holiday season, and thanks for being part of our family too.

May joy and kindness fill your days during the holidays, and all through 2021.

Sarah & Ryan

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