Last night I helped take in over $900 for a good cause while answering phones at the annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon.

From 9 p.m. to midnight, the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow Community Outreach team answered calls backstage as metres away, Global TV personalities, thankful families and generous businesses encouraged callers to donate. 

The job mostly boiled down to paperwork, and lots of waiting. And with 150 phones in the cue, and an evening time slot on a Saturday night which also happened to be Valentine’s Day, there was a lot of waiting.

Our team took up most of the table, along with our Company of Young Professionals (also a VBOT division) counterparts. The others we met ranged from seasoned pros to first-timers.

There was the proud grandmother whose two grandkids were born at three-and-a-half and two pounds each. Both healthy and born to families who were able to benefit from transportation and accommodation provided by Variety.

There was Miss Teen B.C. 2012-2013, beside the current title-holder, who has volunteered three years in a row and was staying an extra hour because the telethon was going to be short volunteers between midnight and 1 a.m.

There was the Malcolm Gladwell-style curly haired gentleman who came on a date. We talked about service work and agreed we’d both volunteer next year.

The event was energetic and fun and run, like many events, by tireless volunteers. It was a great opportunity to get involved, and quite a humbling experience to take calls from individuals, couples and families as they contributed $25, $109, $200, $500 to help other individuals, couples and families.

While I won’t chair the community outreach committee next year, I think a great team goal for next year would be to come back to present a giant cheque on camera, having fundraised for the cause. Of course, over and above quietly putting in our hours backstage.

More information on Variety – the Children’s Charity is available here.

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