We’ve all heard the expression, “the best things in life are free.” But did you know the best things you can do professionally are also free?

It’s true. Some of the best work I’ve ever done I did for free. It is the work of which I am most proud. It is the work I found most inspiring. It is the work I would do again given the chance.

I remember leaving Princess Margaret Hospital one snowy December evening after an emotional day of interviewing cancer patients and survivors for a pro-bono film we were making for the Foundation.  I didn’t feel ready to face the cold drive home, so my partner and I went out for a bite to eat. We ended up talking all night about the incredible stories we heard and the real life heroes that had touched our hearts. The most challenging part of the project was editing eight hours of footage down to 15 minutes, while still giving each person the voice they deserved.

Our little film not only opened wallets in support of cancer research, it opened minds and hearts. It gave people hope. It gave people a voice. It educated. It inspired. That little film also taught me that the creative process is its own kind of medicine. Everyone involved in the making of this film felt a little better for the experience.

Perhaps I give away our services more than I should, but it is a gift I give gladly. It makes me feel good to know that we are helping to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it is supporting a worthwhile cause or helping people tell their story, it seems only right that we use our resources and talents to have a positive impact in the world.

I encourage you to do a little free thinking of your own. You’ll get back so much more than you give.