Inspired by a love for children
Sometimes those with the greatest appreciation of what we have as Canadians are those who came here from countries where they had much less.
Calgarian, Ashid Bahl is using what he has gained here to help disadvantaged people at home and around the world.
Bahl is the founder and president of the For the Love of Children Society of Alberta.
His organization seeks to improve the lives of disadvantaged kids here at home and around the globe.
“I had something inside of me, right from the beginning that life is not about myself, life is not about us, it's about making life happen for someone else who's less fortunate than ourselves. In that lies the true significance of living,” said Bahl.
The society has built schools in India, Nepal and Africa and has gone to the aid of earthquake victims in Haiti.
The organization's members have also built playgrounds for kids in disadvantaged parts of Calgary.
One of Bahl's signature events here at home is Santa's Express.
Bahl partners with charter aircraft companies to take kids up on an airplane and the air time is followed by a party and a visit from Santa.
Martha Hart, through the Owen Hart Foundation, has partnered with Bahl on some projects and seen him at work.
“He is so motivated and so driven in his mission to help the less fortunate and particularly children all over the world,” said Hart. “I guess what's really inspiring about Ashid is that he could have chosen to live a pleasant life or a good life but he didn't, he chose to live a life of meaning.”
Bahl says his desire to help the less fortunate goes back to his childhood in Kenya where he would give his toys to kids who didn't have any.
That spirit of giving started what became a lifelong passion that Bahl believes comes with great rewards. “You know the smiles on their faces, you know the happiness that you bring to them and improving their quality of life that makes me go ahead and keep on doing this.”
For making that choice and making a difference in the lives of thousands of children, Ashid Bahl is our Inspiring Albertan this week.