Even though she had dedicated her life to helping young people through her career as a children’s lawyer in Ontario, Canada, Susan Gordon wanted to find a way to do more, particularly for Canada’s underserved Aboriginal children. Her own sons were just leaving the family nest and with a little more time to volunteer, she signed on with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
She loved the weekly outings with her “little sister,” taking her ice skating, swimming, to gymnastics, grabbing dinner, but still, she yearned to give even more. About the same time a friend introduced her to Origami Owl® (which she said she instantly loved and “bought lots of”), and it finally came to her. She said, “I told myself, ‘You love this jewelry. You want to do community service. Put them together!’”
She became an Independent Designer in the fall of 2015, and has enjoyed every second of sharing Origami Owl’s Living Lockets and jewelry since. Even more, she’s appreciated the opportunity to donate all of her commissions to a program that is near and dear to her heart, the Dream Catcher Mentoring program.
She learned about DCM when she joined Big Brothers and Big Sisters. It caught her attention because of its focus: helping Aboriginal children in remote parts of Northern Canada. The program’s purpose is to help youth complete their high school education and go on to pursue meaningful careers. Susan explained, “My own sons are half-Aboriginal, and they’re doing well in life. But the drop-out rate for Aboriginal children, especially those in the north, is particularly high. It’s hard for Native people because their way of life is gone. There’s also a lack of people up there, so it’s hard to find local mentors. Dream Catcher pairs them with mentors online, helping those kids succeed.”
Susan holds as many Jewelry Bars and events as her busy lawyer schedule can handle, all in an effort to raise money for DCM. She’s even recruited her mom as her O2 assistant. She said, “We bond through doing this; we have a special time together.”
She added, “I get a lot out of it personally, too. Origami Owl gives me a social outlet to meet people I might not otherwise, to get to know people, to get myself out there. It’s too easy to work, go home, work, go home.”
For Susan, it’s also fun to help others create special lockets, especially when she treasures many of her own. Her favorite is her large silver locket, which she said “has my mom charm, my Designer charm. I have a hockey skate for my older son, Brennan, who still plays at 24. I have a grand piano for my younger boy, Liam, who discovered at age 15 he’s a gifted pianist. He’s 18 now at university, studying piano performance. Then I have birthstones, a fleur de lis charm (because I’m French Canadian), and the tepee.”
When we asked what makes Susan “sparkle,” she answered immediately, “I think the thing that brings me the most joy is knowing my children are well, that there’s peace in life. I’m also at an age where I’ve learned that giving is better than receiving, and Origami Owl has given me that outlet.”