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"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”.
Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice
is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to
listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars
who influence others to listen themselves."Find your Little Voice
A special blog post from Little Voice’s illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor.
Did you know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness? Coming from someone who has suffered from one, I am saddened by this statistic but not surprised.
My own journey with an eating disorder, which you can read about here, left me depleted, emotionally unstable and trapped for years. In 2016, I managed to seek recovery for the first time. Through therapy, coping techniques and various resources, I am proud to say that I have been able to stay on the recovery path. I had to gain much needed weight but more importantly, had to work on the emotional side of things in order to find food freedom, and self-love.
2016 has been an amazing year for Little Voice and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Each year, Little Voice sets a number of goals that will enable us to plan for the future and make a difference in our community! This past year, Little Voice aimed to increase our outreach, launch our movement, and increase our donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Here’s a look back at 2016 and how we managed to reach our goals:
Thanks to our community, Little Voice was able to increase our outreach efforts through a number of media outlets:
Meeting our readers in person has always been a great opportunity for us to answer your questions and see the impact our book has had in your homes and schools. We hope to put on many more events this upcoming year and to meet many more of you at our local events.
The Little Voice Movement
This past Summer, Little Voice launched our official movement. The movement was our way to give back, not only to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, but to all those searching for a way to fundraise in their communities.
Thanks to CTV and Upfront Ottawa, we were able to share our movement with all of you:
By registering to become an Little Voice Ambassador, you can create your own inspirational movement in your community. Whether you choose to support your school, an important cause, or your future, Little Voice will donate $5 dollars from every book sale you’ve made to support your movement.
You can learn more about our movement on our website and sign-up today … for free!
The Forget Me Not Project
Every year, since publishing Little Voice, we have challenged ourselves to grow our donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada through the Forget Me Not Project. By participating in the Walk for Alzheimers, Little Voice has been able to work with our local Alzheimer Society chapter and with YOU to fundraise in support of Alzheimer’s research, programs and services! This past year, through your generosity, Little Voice was able to raise $1, 875 dollars.
Little Voice was also very proud to put on the Dream Big Dream, Girl Luncheon that successfully raised $2,000 dollars in support of the Alzheimer Society. Together, we were able to not only get together and feel inspired, but we were also able to empower the next generation of dreamers to make a difference in their own communities.
A BIG thank you to all those who attended and to our guest speakers, sponsors and the Dream, Girl film, which made the event possible!
The New Year is an amazing opportunity to look back on all the little moments that made up the sum of our entire year. It’s a chance to be grateful for all the positivity that came in to your life, to examine where you can grow, and to challenge yourself to reach new heights in the year ahead.
For Little Voice, a new year is an opportunity for us to set new goals that will allow us to reach more readers and support many more causes. It’s an opportunity to say thank you for believing in our message and vision and sharing our book with your students, children, family and friends.
But more importantly, it is a perfect reminder for each and every one of us to listen to our little voice and to not let another year go by where we ignore it.
We wish you all a very Happy New Year and cannot wait to share what we have planned for 2017 with all of you!
This Christmas Little Voice is extremely excited to support a local initiative that is working towards bringing a smile to every child’s face in Ottawa on Christmas morning!
Each year, Toy Mountain and the Salvation Army provide toys to over 20,000 children. This year, the goal is to leave no child in Ottawa without a gift to open on Christmas morning. By supporting the Toy Mountain Movement, you are helping children have a magical Christmas by not only donating a copy of Little Voice/La petite voix but also by contributing $5 from every book sale to the campaign!
The Little Voice Movement is a way for us to use our platform to give back to our community and country. With every book sale, Little Voice donates $5 towards any give cause or charity. With Toy Mountain, we’re asking you to use the coupon code below to purchase a book that will be donated to a child this Christmas.
Every book that is purchased using the coupon code “toymountain” will not only be donated to this incredible cause but Little Voice will also donate $5 from each book sale to support the Toy Mountain in reaching their goal of giving every child in Ottawa a gift this Christmas.
There is something about birthdays that forces us to look back on the year that has passed. It’s an opportunity for us to cherish the memories we gained, the friendships we created, and the work we have accomplished. For Little Voice, turning two is an opportunity to do just that.
It’s amazing to see how far Little Voice has come. This past year, Little Voice proved to our community that we are not only a children’s book but a movement that is determined to make a difference. Our official launch of our movement was an extraordinary moment for us; it was a chance to share with the world not only our story but the vision that makes Little Voice the social enterprise that it is. We made it clear that with our profits we wanted to do good in the world, whether that be through supporting a charitable cause, a community initiative or a child’s education. We wanted to inspire the next generation to be advocates for causes they believe in and to enable them to fundraise and give back wherever possible. We wanted to empower the little voice inside each and every one of you that will enable you to chase your dreams and make a difference in this world.
These past two years have been nothing short of amazing. We’ve been extremely blessed to have your support day in and day out in all that we do. We’ve made friends, we’ve made readers, and, more importantly, we made believers out of all of you. We made you believe in yourself once more, in your passions, in your talents, and in the dreams that perhaps you slowly forgot.
I’ll never forget the feeling I had after seeing Little Voice come to life for the first time. After hiding my writing for so long, and from so many, I was finally ready to share my writing with the world. While it was the most amazing feeling to see my dream come to life, it was also one of the most scariest moments of my life. For a lot of people, it can sometimes be quite frightening to share their true passion, what inspires them, or who they truly are. This was certainly true for me. I was scared of what people may think of my work, and was almost hesitant at first to take on this adventure. But Little Voice made me a believer in myself, it taught me to never give up and to chase my dream of becoming an author. In the same way that Little Voice awakened my dreams, I hope these past two years it has been able to awaken something inside you too.
– Amanda Bernardo, Author
Today, as we celebrate Little Voice’s second birthday, we also want to celebrate the little voice inside each and every one of you. Because of that voice, so many of you are doing so much good in this world and that is what we at Little Voice hope to continue to inspire you to do each and every year.
Happy Birthday Little Voice!
Please join us on Saturday, December 3rd at the Gloucester Chapters location in Ottawa as we celebrate Little Voice’s birthday!
From the very beginning, Little Voice has been a story all about giving back. It started with Amanda’s goal to give children a book that would teach them something, that would provide a moral to the story, and a way for children to feel engaged. Eventually, Little Voice became a symbol of inspiration, a way for parents and teachers to inspire their children and students to believe that they can accomplish anything. Now, Little Voice is known across Canada as a way to fundraise and really give back in your local communities.
This October, Little Voice was nominated for the Ottawa Social Impact Awards!
The Ottawa Social Impact Awards are recognizing and celebrating the leaders in our community who are making a positive social impact through innovative, collaborative, and scalable initiatives and enterprises. A partnership between Impact Hub Ottawa and the City of Ottawa, the inaugural Awards seek to:
Highlight Ottawa-based community initiatives and social enterprises that have significant potential for growth and lasting impact;
Emphasize the power of the collective rather than the individual; and
Recognize social innovation in our community that is turning the status quo upside down.
Today, Little Voice is very excited to not only share this nomination with all of you but a special feature with CBC Ottawa on Our #Ottawa.
This interview certainly helped both Samantha and I realize how far we’ve come and how much farther we want to go. What started as a simple poem on a scrap piece of paper has involved into a social enterprise I am so proud to have created with Samantha. We are continuously motivated by your feedback and involvement with our platform and hope to continue to inspire you as our movement and vision grows.
– Amanda Bernardo, Author
“We wanted kids to feel like they belong, for them to have a book that they could relate to. When you have a kid that feels inspired it’s really rewarding to think that we created something that sparked that inspiration within them.”
It was an amazing experience to be featured with CBC Ottawa and we are very excited to share the final product today with all of you! Special thank you to CBC for also highlighting our nomination in the upcoming Ottawa Social Impact Awards! Please vote for Little Voice by visiting http://ottawa.impacthub.net/ci…/ottawa-social-impact-awards/ to help us grow our platform, voting ends November 4, 2016!
Today marks the 2016 International Day of the Girl!
Girls and women belong in the seats of classrooms, boardrooms, courtrooms, and press rooms. They belong on the playing field, in the director’s chair, everywhere decisions are made, and anywhere else they choose.
With today’s inspiring day coming to an end, Little Voice wanted to share a short story with you to remind every little girl that anything is possible!
When I first set out to publish Little Voice, I was rejected by publishers and ignored by literary agents. I almost gave up on a goal I always hoped to accomplish because I was made to believe that I did not have what it takes to publish my story. While I had dared to dream big, I quickly saw that society sometimes automatically makes women and young girls shrink their ideas in fear of failure. I decided to push fear aside and chase after my dream regardless of the odds placed before me. Two years later, I have not only surpassed my expectations for Little Voice but I have created a movement that inspires others and supports my community. What a lot people don’t know is that I am not only an author but also a public servant. While I continue to pursue Little Voice on evenings and weekends, and everywhere in between, I am also pursuing a career in government. I believe that young girls and women have the right to decide for themselves where they belong – in government or anywhere else. I have worked extremely hard to become a leader not only in my community, not only in the charities I support, but also within the Government of Canada. I hope to serve as an example to many young girls all across our country, from coast to coast to coast, that women can be exceptional leaders. I am thankful to know many women who have mentored me and supported my growth in and outside of government. Together, we can lift each other up and show the world that #GirlsBelongHere! There may not be enough examples of women in leadership, women in politics, women CEOs, etc… but that should never stop you from filling that void. Be a trailblazer and show the rest of the world why women can and will make a difference!- Amanda Bernardo
This years’s theme Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for Allwill enable us to contribute to the goal of taking mental health out of the shadows so that people in general feel more confident in tackling the stigma, isolation and discrimination that continues to plague people with mental health conditions, their families and careers.
Little Voice is very excited to be supporting this year’s Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) through our movement!
The Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) is a charitable giving option developed exclusively for federal public servants and federal retirees. The annual GCWCC takes place in federal workplaces across the country during the fall campaign period (September to December).
Through the GCWCC, public servants can support United Ways/Centraides, HealthPartners or any other registered Canadian charity of their choosing. United Way, a trusted community partner with a history of making wise investments, manages the campaign on behalf of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
From October 4, 2016 to December 5, 2016, the GCWCC Movement will run using the coupon code “gcwcc”.
With every purchase of Little Voice using this code, Little Voice will donate $5 dollars from each book sale to this year’s campaign. Get involved by sharing our shop link and the movement code with your work, friends, family and even social media!
For those working in the Gatineau area, the coupon code will also enable free shipping for pick-up at 30 Rue Victoria, Gatineau, Quebec.
Order your copy of Little Voice today and see how the power of our movement can support amazing causes in our community.
A special feature by Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo after attending the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Before sharing my experience, I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who supported my One Young World journey, who donated to my delegation fee, and who encouraged me to raise my voice and chase my dreams. Thank you!
It’s hard to sum up everything I’ve seen, heard and felt over these past few days. There’s been a lot to digest. It’s even harder to think where do I go from here?
As a philanthropist and social entrepreneur, I attended One Young World with a particular interest in how I could grow Little Voice to support the causes I believe in. I wanted to learn how I could use my platform to truly lead on the causes I am passionate about, specifically mental health and gender equality. I also wanted to learn what more could I do to make a difference.
I didn’t know what to expect from this Summit, but what I never imagined was that I would learn more about myself in four days than I had in the last year.
Here’s a little glimpse of the day to day summaries I tried to jot down throughout the Summit.