Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reporting from On the Roof: The final hour draws closed

Les and the ConocoPhillips team ready to leave
after volunteering to serve breakfast
 "No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm." Charles Kettering

Amazing though it may sound, I slept in this morning. Imagine! Sleeping in inside a tent on the roof of the old DI at -15C.  

As we draw into our last hour on the roof, I'm happy. And I'm sad.

It has been an amazing experience.
So many people to thank. So many people came up to the roof and supported us. So many made this adventure possible.

It began with an idea by one person (Dave Tod -- if he ever says to you, "Hey, I've got an idea. What do you think about..." RUN!  Just kidding. What you need to do is LISTEN.  And then, ACT. 

The moon looks watches over us
Take action.

Do something. Take a step, or two or three. Gather allies, supporters. Get people talking about your idea. Get people to share their energy and their support and their time so that they too can be part of the magic of your idea unfolding.

That's what Dave did. He had an idea. I listened. Other's listened. And then we said -- Yes. Why not. Never tried it before. Sounds like it could work.

Because really... in the end. Whether we raised $10 or $20,000+ (which is what we did -- thank you everyone!) in doing it, we created a buzz, an energy, a sense of 'we're doing something worthwhile here. Let's keep going forward.'

And forward we did go. From all the logistics Dave took care of with getting people on board to contribute to signage and fencing and sleeping out accoutrement like tents and sleeping bags, Dave took care of the details.  

Me, all I had to do was send out a few news releases and turn up on the roof willing to take part, to take action.

Dave's last sleep in the ten
And, like so many who came up here to be part of the spirit, who cheered us on from the smoke deck, from the floors of the shelter, from the roadway passing by, from tweets to Facebook Likes and Shares, to comments on the blog -- you have all taken action and been part of the spirit of making things happen. Of creating change and building awareness, not just of the event. No, it's not just about the event -- it's about the vision and purpose of the event -- to draw attention to what we do here at the shelter. What happens in people's lives who are homeless and what we can do as individuals and a community to pitch in, or, as in the case of these past three days, pitch a tent or two to make a difference.

And we have. Made a difference.

As my friend Max wrote in an email the other day, "At the end of the day, all we can ask ourselves is, "Did I make a difference?" And you have."

Thank you everyone. Being up here has made a difference within me, and in the world around me. Having you with me as cheerleaders has made a difference. If I'd thought about what it would take to stay up on the roof for three days, I probably never would have stepped out onto the roof. But having your support, knowing what the 'bigger picture' was, being here actually made sense. 

Smoke rises off the smoke deck
And in the end, as the final hour draws to a close, I know. Together we have made a difference. Together we can bring people in from the cold to a place where they know, no matter their condition, there is a welcoming hand, a warm smile and a comforting voice to guide them.

You are all amazing.

Thank you!
Cindy and a volunteer start cooking dinner for Friday night
(40 pork roasts ready for the oven)

One last traffic photo for the CBC EyeOpener
Cindy hams it up on the fence


Des said...

I'm so happy you survived the cold and raised soo much money to support your cause. Your willingness to participate and jump at new (or old) opportunities to volunteer is what has helped to change this city for the better. Kudos to you my friend! Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to volunteering with you in the future! -Des

Maureen said...

Congratulations to all from South of the border and a bit East.

Now, get thee fast to a toasty place. Hugs all around.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Des -- it was .... fun... different... enlightening and it felt good to do it!

sure appreciate all your support and I too look forward to volunteering with you.

Louise Gallagher said...

I am Maureen, I am.

But first.... A coffee in a mug that doesn't freeze to my lips as I drink it! :)

Anonymous said...


thanks so much for taking time-off-the-roof last night to do your TEDx speech at our Toastmasters Club.

As I expected - it was moving and wonderfully performed.

We would love to have you back anytime as a guest and certainly as a member!!



S. Etole said...

Admire your perseverance and willingness to serve. Warm blessings to all.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Some folks do extreme sports ... you do extreme living. You inspire us all.

Fi said...

Joyce comeent is spot on. It's been fun following your adventure

Louise Gallagher said...

Mark I was honoured to be there.

And I forgot -- Congratulations on your anniversary yesterday! It looks good on you.

Louise Gallagher said...

Tee hee Joyce -- I am an experiential learning.

I just like big experiences some time :)

Thanks my friend.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thank you Fi. It's been fun and rewarding to share it with you!

Anonymous said...

well done!

Jennifer Richardson said...

That is SO COOL!!!
Bravo, brave beautiful one:)