Share your favourite hi

Posted on by StartWithHi

This month, we’re focusing on times when it feels natural to reach out to another person. When was the last time someone reached out to you with a hi? Did it change your whole day? Did it give you pause before you went back into regular life?

It could be someone opening a door for you, pressing the cross-walk button when your arms are full, or just a simple ‘hi, how are you?.” When was the last time someone asked how you were and really listened to your answer? Did it make a difference in your day?

These small gestures can make such a huge difference to all of us. So let’s celebrate the small gestures we receive from others, and then try to start something amazing with a “hi” of our own!

 Tell us about your favourite hi — given or received.

Say Hi to April!

Posted on by StartWithHi

This month, we want to talk about what makes it easy to start with hi. We all know that sometimes it can feel like a challenge to say hi, and we’ve shared some easy ways to overcome those challenges. This time, tell us about a time when you found it natural to share a hi with someone new. Was it a new person at work you were able to connect with? How about a new neighbour who takes the same bus as you?

Taking that extra step to say hi to someone is sometimes so easy, we don’t even notice it happening. It just feels so natural to chat with someone at an elevator, or show some kindness to the person next to you in line. Opening our eyes to these moments will make it even easier to start with hi the next time.

Head to Facebook and share your easiest-ever hi with us!

Start a long weekend with Hi

Posted on by StartWithHi

March has been an incredible month of starting great things with a simple hi. We’ve shared stories and tips about saying hi even when it’s hard, and wonderful examples of warm greetings.

We saw adorable animals saying hi, small gestures that can make a big difference and a few sports teams who know how to make others feel included. We talked about reaching out to strangers in simple and safe ways to encourage inclusion.

Some wonderful people in our community have shared stories of close friends, neighbours and even their own experiences. A few of us even tried taking the first step and saying hi and we’re so excited that more of us are willing to try new things and practice inclusion in our own ways.

April is going to be a lovely, sunny month. We’re going to talk about what saying hi can mean and what it can feel like.

So have a great long weekend! Start a holiday with a simple hi!

Is it hard to start with Hi?

Posted on by StartWithHi

This month, we’re looking at ways in which we can all start something special with a simple Hi. Part of that is acknowledging that sometimes it’s not easy to say hi.

This week, we’re asking about what makes it challenging to say hi to others. Everyone has been in a situation where they know in advance that it might not be easy to say hi and let things happen. Haven’t we all been out shopping and decided in advance to avoid eye contact because we don’t want a hard sell? How about when someone pulls up their car to ask directions?

At times, it can feel like our guard has to be up because we’re trying to feel safe. We want to make our communities stronger and more tightly knit, but getting started can feel a little bit risky.

The funny thing is, starting with a simple hi can actually help keep us all safer. The more likely we are to say hi to our neighbours, the stronger our neighbourhoods become! Plus, once you get to know someone, they’re more likely to respect your boundaries.

Tell us what makes it harder to start with hi, and what you do to overcome them.

How do you say Hi?

Posted on by StartWithHi

It feels like spring might be ready to say Hi to us very soon! It’s a time to get outside, say hi to the neighbours and make new connections with your community.

This March, we’re looking at how people say Hi in lots of different ways. A Hi isn’t always a verbal communication. Sometimes it’s a wave, it can be a look, or just a nod to someone on your street. Acknowledging each other is simple, and it makes such a difference to everyone.

Tell us about how a simple Hi made a big difference to you, or tell us your favourite way to say Hi to someone else.

When we stop to share a simple Hi, big things can happen.

Being a good neighbour

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Ask anyone and they’ll tell you they’re willing to help someone if needed. We all like to think of ourselves a certain way, and we like the idea of assisting others because that’s what nice people do. But in reality, after a hard day, or a long walk in wet shoes, or way too many things to get done in not enough time; we don’t always pay attention to others. Sometimes, we really just want to shut down because it feels like extra effort just to look around and be aware of what’s happening right now.

We all feel this way. It’s normal and it makes sense.

Starting with Hi is really about taking basic steps. A hi is simple, and easy. And it might just be a small part of your day. Sometimes, a hi can blossom into a whole new friendship.

Being a good neighbour isn’t about obligations, or time and energy. It’s about doing what you can, when you can. It’s about those small moments that make all the difference to you and others around you.

What small gestures mean the most to you?


Emily cares about neighbourhoods

Posted on by StartWithHi

Get To Know Emily from on Vimeo.

We joined Emily to talk about building neighbourhoods with a simple hi. She shared her day meeting new friends and expressing why a hi makes her feel more safe in the community. Emily feels that when someone says hi to her, she feels more at ease.

That made a lot of sense, and so did the next part of Emily’s day. She volunteers at S.U.C.C.E.S.S., an organization devoted to helping new Canadians find their way. If you’ve ever moved to a new neighbourhood – let alone a new country – you know how uncomfortable  a new home can feel at first. For Emily, saying hi is not just about making her feel safe when others say hi to her directly. It’s Emily’s bright, charming hi that she sends out to everyone around her!

Join Emily as she makes her neighbourhood more connected, one hi at a time.


A bright – and chilly – winter wonderland

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Now that the holidays are behind us, staying upbeat and motivated can be a challenge. On cold and rainy days, it’s so easy to just huddle up and put down your head until you get to where you’re going. Sure you’re not super-approachable like that, and it certainly doesn’t feel nice, but it’s just for a little while right?

Life in January tends to mean waiting around for spring when the fun really starts to happen. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself and your community every day, no matter the temperature. And the best part is they don’t come with all the holiday pressure! Look around for new ways to get exercise (hello resolution), new exhibits to experience, festivals, and of course, Chinese New Year!

It doesn’t have to take a huge commitment. Just walking the dog with a neighbour, or offering a ride to the grocery store when it’s slippery out can make a huge difference to you and  someone nearby.

Opening up ourselves to fun and leisure – in any season – helps us open up to other people. Giving yourself a boost of brightness can change your whole season for the better.

What do you do to brighten up this time of year?

Happy New You!

Posted on by StartWithHi

Welcome to 2013 everyone!

After our great holiday break, and everyone is getting back to a more regular schedule. Now is the time to restart our routines, and to say hi to new ways of looking at things that might seem familiar. The New Year is a time of adventure when you everything around you can seem different, and when new ideas suddenly seem possible.

It’s also a time to make new things happen. Resolutions about diet, exercise, work, friends, school, and anything else, are all just ways to say we want to do better. We want to make new, helpful habits that can change us – and the world around us – for the better.

Making your everyday world that much warmer and brighter is just what’s needed at the beginning of the year when everything is new (and when it’s still wintery!)

Share your inclusion resolution with us!

A year in review

Posted on by StartWithHi

Okay, so this initiative isn’t quite a year old, but it’s still the time when we take stock of where we are and what we want to do. And as we near the close of the year, it’s so easy dwell on the stuff we didn’t accomplish, or the projects we’d have loved to complete, instead of focusing on what we got done.

Did you get a chance to say hi to everyone you wanted to? Maybe not. But did you start to notice when you wanted to say hi? Did it become a little easier to start saying hi to people you care about, or people you now consider to be friends?

It’s important to think back and reflect on all the things we accomplished, both big and small. No year will ever include successes on every level, but focusing on failures instead of building on new successes? That’s no way to end the year!

At Start with Hi, we saw so many people join in with us and express their intention to start a new day with Hi. Just hearing back from so many of you over the course of the last few months has made this campaign so meaningful to all of us.

So in the spirit of celebration, congratulation and lots of warm wishes for the new year, Well Done! Way to Start with Hi this year! We can’t wait to start 2013 with a big, warm Hi.

See you then!