Throughout more than ten years of active involvement in philanthropy, I have worked closely with many local and international charitable organizations through volunteerism and fundraising. These experiences led to the creation of Live for the Cause (LFTC) in 2014, which supports local and grassroots charitable organizations in Montreal. As a community-oriented foundation, LFTC’s mission is to engage, empower, and educate people of all ages on the important and rewarding aspects of becoming involved in philanthropy, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the Montreal community at large.

The creation of LFTC has allowed me to inspire Montrealers to deepen their understanding and appreciation of philanthropy through their participation in initiatives that strengthen our local communities and help support those in need. One team member credited LFTC with her passion for philanthropy, which she described as, “Being conscious of your surroundings and the people around you, being empathetic, following your heart and your instincts; being profoundly human.”

Philanthropy has had a very transformative effect in my life. Growing up, I was a competitive and very talented swimmer, with high hopes and dreams. At the age of thirteen, I fractured my spine and my focus shifted from excelling in school and swimming to coping with severe pain. A year later, my physicians diagnosed bilateral fractures, which led to two back surgeries to correct the problem. Despite the fact that they repaired the fractures, I still suffered from severe pain and could no longer compete at the level I once had. This left a tremendous void in my heart; I felt as though I no longer had a purpose. Philanthropy later filled this void and allowed me to redefine my purpose. Being exposed to and working with children facing challenging health issues through volunteerism allowed me to connect with my past. I was able to reflect and work through some of the emotional aspects of the trauma I experienced. This not only provided me with a deeper understanding of the needs of children facing challenging health issues, but it allowed me to develop a unique skillset and an ability to connect with children undergoing similar experiences. It was then that I discovered my passion for children’s health and health in general.

I founded LFTC in 2014 in order to create a platform for young Montrealers to become exposed to different causes and discover a cause that they feel passionate about. By providing individuals with opportunities for self-reflection, my goal is to facilitate an understanding that their own past and current experiences impact their connection to a particular cause. Motivated by this understanding, I inspire individuals to become engaged in meaningful events and initiatives in support of such causes. Understanding that our journey impacts the way we perceive philanthropy and contribute to it, is one of the most empowering and life-changing realizations I have had. My hope is that others come to the same realization, commit themselves to an awareness of others’ needs, and allow philanthropy to enrich their lives, the same way it has mine.

Olivia (Liv) Monton