December 27, 2013
Ottawa— As we usher in 2014, I think back on the past year—the challenges we have faced and the joys we have experienced as a country.
My wife, Sharon, and I are thankful to live and work in this country, where so many Canadians are devoted to caring for their fellow citizens.
We have seen Canadians helping others, giving back to the country and the world. These acts of sharing create a virtuous circle, a wonderful reciprocity, in which we find so many participants. They are volunteers and philanthropists, business leaders and military personnel, artists and athletes, friends and neighbours.
They are young and old.
They are strangers helping strangers.
And we have seen, too, how Canadians unite in response to tragedies—in Alberta and in Lac Megantic, for instance.
There is so much good in our country, so many compassionate and generous Canadians, willing to give back. We have seen this.
And yet, we also see so much that we still must do to build a stronger Canada, to provide all Canadians with the chance to succeed.
Doing so begins with each and every one of us. We all have something to contribute, and I encourage everyone to find out what that could be.
I am now asking Canadians to discover their giving moment, to share their stories and to inspire others to give.
It doesn’t matter if your gift is large or small. Or whether you make a cash donation. Or volunteer with an organization. Or help your neighbour to rebuild a fence. Whatever you give—time, talent or money—you are strengthening our culture of generosity and creating your very own giving moment.
And when we add up all the moments throughout this country, when all of us discover what we have to give, the result is a smarter, more caring nation.
The New Year is a blank slate full of possibility. It is a time to look back and rejoice in what we have accomplished. And it is a time to look forward, with hope and optimism.
On behalf of Sharon and my family, we wish all Canadians a very happy and healthy New Year.
Governor General of Canada's New Year's Message