Many know Riaz Meghji as the co-host of Breakfast Television Vancouver on City every weekday morning, but do you also know of the good work he’s doing in our community?
When TELUS asked us to find a Vancouverite that cares about our community, Riaz immediately came to mind. We wanted to get a better idea of why Riaz does what he does and how he has the time to fit it into his busy schedule, so we had the chance to chat with him and find out!
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What is 1Karma and why did you start it?
Three years ago, I found myself in a cafe in Coal Harbour with 1Karma co-founder Jason Sarai, brainstorming ideas on how we could help the youth in our community. We both believe that good karma starts with one thought, one idea and one simple action.
Being a part of Breakfast Television Vancouver brings about countless opportunities to volunteer with various organizations. Rather than spread ourselves too thin trying to contribute to numerous groups, we both decided to launch the partnership 1Karma, where we could not only fundraise for a registered charity every year, but also volunteer our time with that specific group and create an awareness of their great work and needs.
How does it support the community?
Since the summer of 2012, 1Karma has hosted an annual event at the Hastings Race Course. Through ticket sales and silent auctions, we effectively generate funds for our chosen cause.
In our first two years, we have raised $30,000 for Camp Goodtimes and Covenant House Vancouver, two organizations that do phenomenal work.
How do you find time in your busy schedule to make this happen?
Having an extremely patient and supportive fiancée definitely helps. Bottom line is Jason and I both made the decision that giving back to our community was a priority. We have worked well together to manage our chaotic schedules and have had some terrific volunteers support us in making the 1Karma vision a reality.
Why is it important to support your community?
Our community is where we live, where we work and where we play. If we want it to thrive, we need to give to it and not just take from it.
There is such an intangible reward from giving back to those that appreciate the support. I am inspired by the true catalysts we get to meet in the process and feel there are many people out there making a profound difference.
What other community projects are you involved in?
The Aga Khan Foundation Canada is an organization I support where needed. The work that this group accomplishes promoting sustainability in developing countries is beyond necessary.
Currently, I am developing a passion project called “Every Conversation Counts.” It involves interviews with thought leaders and champions of their craft that break down their most important and pivotal conversations and how they communicate effectively to build meaningful relationships. It truly is a labour of love and will launch online this fall.
What’s your favourite part of Vancouver’s community?
The passion of our people. I see it everyday with Breakfast Television and at events throughout our city. Many of the events that take place wouldn’t happen without volunteers. I tip my hat to all of those that dedicate their time to their important causes.
What is your goal for the future of our community?
That everyone in some way, feels a sense of belonging and identity. Hopefully, our efforts encourage others to look for their own opportunities to grow, to learn and to help others.
How can others get involved and take action?
Getting involved can start with a simple gesture.
Take a look around at your neighborhood, workplace, or charities that strike a chord with you. Start asking questions about what you would want to change and opportunities to give back will begin to appear.
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TELUS truly cares about the communities where we live, work and play. Putting customers first is their top priority and guides everything we do, from their Give Where We Live philosophy to their Customers First days. See how TELUS gave loyal customer, Ramona, a big surprise to thank her for being such a great customer for almost 20 years.
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