The Positive Impact ofVolunteering with SchoolBOX - theHumm November 2019

The Positive Impact ofVolunteering with SchoolBOX - theHumm November 2019

By — Alexandra Few

SchoolBOX is a registered charity in Canada and Nicaragua that is making education a possibility for children. Founded in 2006 by Tom Affleck, SchoolBOX was able to put two young girls from Nicaragua in school by simply providing them with a notebook and a pencil. Since then, SchoolBOX has blossomed into putting tens of thousands of children in school each and every year. With the help of many gracious volunteers and donations, SchoolBOX has been able to continually supply school materials and build safe environments, such as schools and libraries, for children in parts of Nicaragua where education wasn’t a possibility before their help. The staff at SchoolBOX, as well as current and previous volunteers, know just how beneficial volunteering can be and want you to experience it for yourself.

The Impact of Giving & Volunteering

That heart-warming feeling after giving to someone is like no other. Whether it’s paying for a stranger’s coffee or giving time to help a friend, we give because we know it will provide a benefit to the recipient. However, don’t be so quick to take yourself out of the equation when it comes to those benefits. Research shows that when we give to others out of the goodness of our hearts, it actually benefits our own mental health and wellbeing. Biologically, the act of giving activates parts of the brain that release serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, all of which are “feel good” chemicals. Similar to a “runner’s high”, a “helper’s high” is a result of those chemicals being released, and that glowing feeling you get as a result makes you want to continue to give and help others.

A term within psychology to help explain the impact of giving is “altruism” — the act of putting other people’s needs before our own. One of the best ways we can do this is through volunteering. Research has shown that altruism can create a sense of community and is an indicator of further volunteering. In addition, research on the perceptions of altruism and volunteering has found that there are many motivational factors involved. Individuals have been shown to develop career-relevant skills, it provides the ability to better understand society and the rest of the world, it provides a chance to explore new cultures and meet new people, and ultimately, those who volunteer feel good about themselves by doing good for others.

Although the goal of volunteering and the act of being altruistic is centered on helping others, there are many personal benefits that can accrue while you do it. Here are just three of them:

Increased self-esteem: when you volunteer, you gain a sense of purpose because you know you’re helping someone else. By giving your time you are making a big difference and that ultimately translates into positive feelings about yourself. Additionally, helping others just feels good.

Longer lifespan: believe it or not, volunteering increases your life expectancy. Research indicates that those who volunteer more regularly and frequently have a lower mortality risk than those who don’t. There can be many reasons as to why this is the case, but it is clear that when you volunteer you decrease feelings of isolation, increase a sense of belonging, and have lower levels of stress, which can lead to lower blood pressure and stress-induced illnesses.

A broader scope: it can be so easy to stay in our own bubble and only worry about our immediate surroundings, and while that’s still important, it’s just as important to stay informed about the problems and inequalities that others experience, both locally and globally. Volunteering can help put things into perspective and make you aware of the privileges you might have that others do not. Opening your mind and your heart to causes that might not affect you directly, but affect others greatly, is only going to improve your own sense of self and help make the world a better place.

SchoolBOX is giving everyone a change to achieve the benefits listed above, as well as many more, with their Volunteer Program. This is a life-changing ten-day group trip to Nicaragua to assist in the building of a school or classroom. Not only will you be able to build alongside SchoolBOX staff and other volunteers, but you will be able to immerse yourself into the culture by exploring Nicaragua, interacting with the children who will be accessing the school, and experiencing first-hand the folks who will be utilizing the space you are helping to create, such as the teachers, parents, and more. The organization currently has openings in their March Break group (March 12–21, 2020), the Almonte Group (April 16–25, 2020), and the July Group (July 9–18, 2020).

SchoolBOX is undeniably changing the way children and communities live in Nicaragua, and by being a volunteer you too can help make a profound impact. With so many benefits that you will also get to experience, SchoolBOX welcomes you to be part of the change. You can contact SchoolBOX at or by calling the Executive Director, Jonathan Tam, directly at 869–8185.


Canadian Winterscapes
The Algonquin Ensemble Premieres Stunning New Production
- theHumm November 2019

The Algonquin Ensemble has created a stunning new production and it’s coming to the First Unitarian in Ottawa on Saturday, November 30 and to the Almonte United Church on Sunday, December 1. Canadian Winterscapes is a multi-media journey celebrating the untamed beauty and indomitable spirit of a Canadian winter through music, art and photography. With moving pieces from the ensemble’s acclaimed début production Sonic Palette, uplifting arrangements of traditional seasonal repertoi......


David Ivens —He’s Got a Hammer - theHumm November 2019

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

That’s not correct. He has many, many specialized hammers and other metalworking tools, and he hammers in the morning and in the evening and in the afternoons. And he’s been happily doing it for over forty years. You know you’ve found your niche when what you want to do after you retire is to do more of what you’ve been working at.

David Ivens ran a restoration and fabrication company in Toronto for forty years, creating, reproducing and......


No More Secrets
Healthy Minds, Healthy Men
- theHumm November 2019

On Tuesday, September 7, 1982, Peter Hamer walked into Bell High School for the first time. He was a shy kid taking the first steps into his new school eager to begin grade 9. Like every other young person beginning their high school adventure he had all the hopes and dreams for a future filled with opportunity and excitement. The next four years at Bell would prove to be anything but that.

Not much of a jock, or a high achiever scholastically, Peter found his place in the music room. Par......


Sivarulrasa Gallery’s5th Anniversary Show - theHumm November 2019

Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year — the gallery is incredibly grateful to the people of Almonte, Lanark County, and the broader region for all the support and encouragement it has received over the past five years. The 5th Anniversary Show will bring together works by 22 talented artists from Almonte, Eastern Ontario, and across Canada. The show runs from November 22 to December 29 and will feature sculpture, paintings, drawin......


Who Stole Christmasfrom Mississippi Mills? Who? Who? - theHumm November 2019

By — Heather Phaneuf

Disgruntled are you? Could it be the pre-winter blues? The looming holly-daze? Or are you fundamentally concerned about the suspicious red boxes that traipsed willy-nilly through last month’s Humm? Hmmm? You should be!

Something is amiss in Mississippi Mills. Something is horribly wrong. Someone is ranting about Almonte, Pakenham, Ramsay and why the heck isn’t it called Alpakram? Almapakarama? Ramalamapakahama-ding-dong? Why wouldn’t you be concerned?

Solve the mystery! Grab a ticket to......


rND Bakery: Beyond Wheat - theHumm November 2019

By Sebastian Weetabix

Wherein the hero is identified, a disease is defeated and medicinal food is defined. All this in a thousand words and one picture! (For those coming in late, see my column in the October 2019 issue). Our story resumes with the reminder that celiac disease is a real disorder, not a preference or a sensitivity. It can be difficult to diagnose but even a small amount of (wheat) gluten can be the source of much and long-lasting misery.

Wheat and wheat processing played a ......


Mississippi Masala
Child Haven Fundraiser on November
- theHumm November 2019

It’s time again for Mississippi Masala — the fourth annual festive evening in support of Child Haven International. Come on out for an enjoyable social and cultural evening!

On Saturday, November 23, you can beat the chilly weather by immersing yourself in warm South Asian culture. The Carleton Place Curling Club will be transformed for the evening: draped in the rich colours of Indian fabrics and featuring talented young Kathak dancers from the Upsana Dance School. Enjoy a ......


Deck the Small Halls
Special Music for the Holiday Season!
- theHumm November 2019

Get festive in small halls across Eastern Ontario! The Ontario Festival of Small Halls is bringing big names in music to even more special places this holiday season.

The Festival is growing its holiday offerings, presenting thirteen shows leading up to Christmas that include two Juno-nominated artists: the undeniable musical talent of Royal Wood, as well as the dynamic live performance and unforgettable harmonies of the Fortunate Ones. They are also delighted to bring back Còig, one of Atlantic Cana......


2019 Heritage Perth Christmas House Tour
Fourteen Years of Holiday Cheer & Fundraising for Education and Literacy
- theHumm November 2019

By — Mary Rothfels

We all have favourite traditions to lighten our hearts as the daylight hours shorten and the temperatures fall. The annual Heritage Perth Christmas House Tour is one such joyful occasion to break up the winter months. For 2019, the Perth and District Chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) has once again lined up an incredible selection of eight homes, transformed for the holidays with inspiring festive décor presented by talented local designers and florists. The pop......


Author, Author!
Lesley Choyce & Charlotte Gray in Almonte
- theHumm November 2019

Author Lesley Choyce is coming to Almonte to meet some of the folks who loved his book The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil. With over 535 copies sold locally, it’s a Mill Street Books bestseller, beloved for its characters and Cape Breton setting.

Come out on November 12 and celebrate the launch of his new novel, Broken Man on a Halifax Pier. It’s a tale of one man’s shipwrecked life and an unlikely crew of rescuers. Charles Howard has lost his jo......


Holiday Fun with Robin Hood & the Babes in the Wood - theHumm November 2019

The above is the description of a pantomime according to . Many folks who are unfamiliar with the genre mistakenly think there will be no talking, but the opposite couldn’t be more true. There is singing and dancing, and an important part of the pantomime experience is audience participation. We polite Canadians are reluctant to shout out at a show, but it is expected here! You MUST boo the baddies and cheer on the......


Perth’s Nick of Time Show - theHumm November 2019

Perth’s longstanding Nick of Time artisan show is back again this year, taking place on Saturday, December 7 from 10am to 3:30pm in the historic McMartin House, located at 125 Gore Street East.

All three floors of the McMartin House will be packed full of the work of artisans who do their very best to tempt and tantalise with wonderful creations and tasty treats. Enjoy shopping in a festive atmosphere and leave the crowded shopping malls behind as you relax and enjoy all that ......


Seeing RED at Strévé - theHumm November 2019

The fusion of fashion and art through the colour red is the next themed exhibit at Perth’s Strévé Design Studio Boutique Gallery, taking place during the months of November and December.

Red is the colour of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power and determination as well as passion, desire and love. Red is a very emotionally intense colour. For the months of November and December, we associate red with Remembrance Day poppies and festive holidays such as Ch......


Folkus Heads into 2020 - theHumm November 2019

By — Sandy Irvin is the Artistic Director of the Folkus Concert Series

Almonte’s Folkus Concert Series is pleased to be announcing another great season of music for your ears. This year’s season focuses (sorry) a lot on vocal harmony. We will bring you sweet singers, choruses galore, storytellers in song, and there will be laughs along the way too. Folkus receives funding from the Government of Canada and that allows us to take chances on bigger-name artists, to support local artists opening, and to support music in the community. We also couldn’t do anything......


A Complete Waste of Time - theHumm November 2019

By Glenda Jones

I’m not proud of it, but I can procrastinate along with the best of them. I try to follow the adage “spend time, don’t waste it”, but it’s a hard thing to do when the weather is crisp and bright,......


Upcoming at Curious & Kind - theHumm November 2019

By — Danielle Grégoire

October was a rather monumental month for Curious & Kind. We had our first sold-out show when DeAnne Smith, one of Canada’s top stand-up comedians, came to our small town and drew a big beaut......


Come to the Christmas Artisan Market! - theHumm November 2019

If you are looking for thoughtful one-of-a-kind gifts for this holiday season, the 2nd annual Christmas Artisan Market will be sure to please. Hosted by the Smiths Falls & District Arts &......


The Life & Timesof Joe Perkins - theHumm November 2019

From the time he arrived in Perth in 1938 until the day he died in an Ottawa hospital in 1990, Joe Perkins was a dominant figure in the town of Perth. Part showman, part salesman, over the years ......


Why Become an Activist?
(When You Would Rather Sit in a Rocking Chair)
- theHumm November 2019

By — Rose Tekel

The Boomers are now reaching what has been called “the golden years.” We harvest fruits of years of labour and are beyond the cares and responsibilities of the on-going problems of the world.



Gifts of Art for $100 & Under - theHumm November 2019

It’s that time of year again — when you can find fun, affordable art for yourself or for others at the West Carleton Arts Society’s $100 and Under Show and Sale. More than 25 local artists and ar......


Life Lessons
Or, How to Get the Gig and Keep It
- theHumm November 2019

By Tony Stuart

A former student who is currently studying Music at university was recently in to talk with me. I love having these opportunities to catch up, and truth be told, I would go back to school tomorro......


Art and About - theHumm November 2019

By Miss Cellaneous

Spirit Seeds at MVTM

Spirit Seeds: A Celebration of Indigenous Beadwork explores historical and contemporary beadwork created by the indigenous people of the Great Lak......


Where theBad-Asses Are… - theHumm November 2019

By Kelly Thompson

Someone recently asked me what would happen if I messed up at work. It was part of a job evaluation process, but it actually made me stop and think about that question. I replied that the questio......


The Positive Impact ofVolunteering with SchoolBOX - theHumm November 2019

By — Alexandra Few

SchoolBOX is a registered charity in Canada and Nicaragua that is making education a possibility for children. Founded in 2006 by Tom Affleck, SchoolBOX was able to put two young girls from Nicar......


All Aboard: Much Afoot in Smiths Falls - theHumm November 2019

By John Pigeau

When the inevitable chill and early dark of November set in, I turn to the most elemental of comforts: good books and warm sweaters, crockpot chili and grilled cheese sandwiches, movie marathons ......


Living Stones Christmas Sale
- theHumm November 2019

John Schweighardt will be hosting his eighth annual Christmas event on December 7 at his studio situated just northwest of the village of Lanark. A renovated century-old log horse stable, Sc......


Guatemala Stove Project’s Annual Fundraising Dance - theHumm November 2019

Come on out and dance for a great cause! On Friday, November 15, the Guatemala Stove Project is hosting a fundraising dance featuring the talented local band Open Road playing rock & rol......


Remembering Reva Dolgoy - theHumm November 2019

By — Sonja Seiler

I first met Reva Dolgoy when I was a toddler. She was volunteering alongside my mother at the Victoria School Museum in Carleton Place and, being the keen little helper that I was, I would often ......


Wintertime Cheer - theHumm November 2019

By — Barb Bottriell

If you’re looking for a way to start your Christmas season off in a happy, uplifting mood, you couldn’t do better than to come and enjoy a selection of beautiful carols and seasonal songs present......


Christmas Fair at MERA - theHumm November 2019

The 17th annual MERA Christmas Fair will take place on November 23 from 9am to 3pm at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners. Come out to support local artisans, have a wonderful treat fr......


That Happened in Carleton Place?!?!!
Mudds Present CP200+ Time to Remember
- theHumm November 2019

By — Jenny Pfitzer

If history helps us to discover our past, define our present and shape our future, then the CP200+ Time to Remember show gives you that and much more: drama, songs, smiles… and tears!

Join th......


To See the Stars: Imagining a Life
A Reading from Jan Andrews’ Last Novel by Ellis Lynn Duschenes
- theHumm November 2019

By — Jane Ellens

On Saturday, November 16, there is a marvellous opportunity to celebrate Jan Andrews’ life as a writer, an internationally recognized storyteller, a rock climber, and a woman who lived her l......


See Double Visionin Almonte! - theHumm November 2019

Canada’s Ultimate Foreigner tribute band, Double Vision, delivers all the hits you expect and more. Selling out audiences throughout Ottawa and the Southern Ontario areas, Double Vision recreates......


Gift of Art Show & Sale - theHumm November 2019

This very popular show is back again, featuring works of art from some of Ottawa’s finest artists. The show features sculptors, painters, photographers, fabric artists and more. With free parking......