One of my favourite topics to cover is how to help “pay it forward”. Having been lucky enough to travel to great destinations with the kids, I always take the time to try and find a way to give something back to the community we are visiting. This winter we participated in a school visit in the Turks and Caicos with the Sandals Foundation that is the most remembered day of our vacation. Recently, I’ve come across an incredible way for cottage owners in Ontario and Quebec to help up those in need through Cottage Dreams, a cancer recovery initiative.
Although my mother did not have cancer, I remember the conversations we had when she was very ill about where we would go as soon as she was healthy enough to travel. That day never came but for many cancer survivors, the period of treatment can be a wonderful time to escape locally for some respite.
Cottage Dreams asks cottage owners to donate a 5-night stay beginning Sunday and ending Friday at their cottage to a cancer survivor who is in recovery from treatment. Visitors arrive on 2:00pm on Sunday and leave by noon the following Friday. To sign up cottage owners can go directly to this link for registration. Once your cottage is registered and accepted, you will be contacted when the organization finds a family in recovery who best suits your cottage. The organization is in greatest need of cottages in July and August for children who are in recovery and have already missed a lot of school due to their illness. To date, over 10,000 people have benefitted from this program and there has been a 67% increase in requests for 2014.
Cottage Dreams places a $5 Million insurance policy on each cottage during the visit at no cost to the owner and tax receipts are issued to the owner when the visit is complete. If you do not have a cottage but still want to help out, donations can be made to the organization through the Cottage Dreams website.