We know that 2020 has been tough for so many reasons and not everyone has anything extra to donate. But we hope that you will take a moment to check out the links to all of these incredible organizations so that you might remember them if you need to recommend them, use their services or want a place to volunteer in the future!
Amy – My favourite organization to support is The GO Project, an organization that provides a social justice, summer camp experience for youth and children across Canada. This program creates an empowering community for young leaders as they explore meaningful community involvement and volunteering.
Tara – The Starlight Children’s Foundation has become our saviour in the past 9 months. The foundation completely switched their program when covid lockdowns began and they have continued to evolve making sure that the medically complex children that they support remain engaged through the months of isolation.
Friends 4 Kindness began as a mom asking friends and family to send her daughter birthday cards and exploded in to uncountable deliveries from around the world. She has started the charity as a way to make sure that other people who are often excluded from birthdays and celebrations are celebrated.
Nicholas – I recently conducted a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society in honour of my grandfather! I would recommend them, he donated every year during his 11 year battle against prostate cancer.
Ms. Devine – The Mustard Seed is a local Wellness Centre for those faced with poverty and homelessness. They help with mental health, advocacy, legal advice, addictions counselling and housing for those impacted by hardships. I love their wrap around approach and compassion that they show the vulnerable. They are in desperate need of resources over the holidays to ensure that they can support those in need.
Halton Women’s Place (women’s shelter) I normally donate items but this year I’m giving $ because of Covid.
Amanda – Red Door Shelter – A lot of people have a hard time over the holidays and it is a very popular time (sadly) for domestic abuse victims to flee with nothing but the clothes they are wearing looking for safety. And hope.
Regent Park Film Festival – I am a supporter of the arts and think it’s an investment that needs to continue to be made. Stories from all different voices need to be showcased and celebrated, and RPFF’s mandate is to support BIPOC communities through film and media arts. It’s been a tough year for so many art and cultural institutions, it would be tragic for some of the smaller organizations to slip away without wide community support.
March of Dimes – They provide a wide range of services for people living with disabilities in Canada. They try to help provide people with some independence.
Fred Victor – We are hitting a winter season and people experiencing homelessness need home stability, health, and income. They need this year-round, but it hits harder in the winter and pandemic has not helped this situation.
FoodShare – I really enjoy eating and have had the luxury of never going hungry. Ever. I firmly believe EVERYONE has the right to food security. We should be able to afford to feed ourselves and our loved ones healthy meals – made with fresh food! Especially our children who need this nutrition to help grow and develop.
Black Creek Community Farm – They are increasing access to healthy foods in their community through programming and food distribution projects. They provide fresh, local and organic produce available for the community at affordable rates. They also provide hands on training and learning experiences also.
Stacey – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarington – I have seen this program in action in my hometown and the group of staff and volunteers behind it work their tails off for the kids in our community. From camps, to after-school programs, in-school mentoring and Big & Littles mentorship, it’s a program that makes a HUGE difference to kids who need that extra support.
The 519 – This is a Toronto organization dedicated to advocacy for the inclusion of LGBTQ2S communities, located in The Village. What I especially love about it, is their support for refugees and new Canadians. They are community builders and are an invaluable resource and a haven for young and old.
Durham Region Hospice – Clarington and Whitby in Durham Region are anticipating the construction of desperately needed residential hospices to serve individuals in our community who are facing a palliative diagnosis. This much needed resource to our community needs financial support to realize their goal and bring comfort and dignity to families.
B.L.U.E. (Building Lives Up Everywhere) – BLUE’s mission is to fill a gap in local, supportive programming for anyone seeking safe community, life- giving activities, delicious food, healthy relationships and a community to call home at little or no cost to participants. Through our core values of acceptance, dignity and mutual community, members grow in self-esteem, and find greater purpose and joy in living. They share food, music, exercise, group discussions, fun games and celebrations and offer access to free clothing and hygiene cupboards, all to Build Lives Up Everywhere. Operating through St. Paul’s United Church in Bowmanville, you can contact the church to make a donation.
Nova’s Ark – Owen and Will have been welcomed with open arms to participate in Nova’s Ark seasonal camps since 2013. Located in Brooklin, Ontario and owned and run by THE MOST passionate/compassionate, former educator named Mary Ann. The camp is also an animal sanctuary and has created the most wonderful community that provides learning opportunities for students to work with people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities of all ages. It’s a magical place.
Deb – The Denise House women’s shelter in Durham Region. The combo of the holidays and the pandemic make this incredible local organization more vital than ever to support. Violence against women and children has risen dramatically since Covid. People in my own family have experienced domestic violence and my whole tribe donates to support them in whatever way we can.
I also like to support Toronto Sick Kids, probably pretty sure that I wouldn’t have to explain to you why Stacey!! I have tried to support the programs over the holidays they put together to support the kids who have to be there over the holidays, as well as their families.
Lauren – Obsidian Theatre – Live Performance as we know it has come to an almost complete standstill since the pandemic. Our friends at Obsidian Theatre, one of the many companies in our industry impacted by the pandemic, have been doing gorgeous and important work for 20 years and are passionately dedicated to the exploration, development, and production of the Black voice.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre – The incredible and relentless team at PMH saved my life and is still helping me on my journey towards a full recovery from Cancer. From the inside, it is shocking to see how many people are impacted by this disease and the radical means necessary to it obliterate it. PMH is continually working to ensure quality of life during and post battle.
The Awo Taan Healing Lodge – This Calgary-based Women’s Emergency Shelter provides community services guided by Native traditional teachings, to anyone affected by family violence and abuse.
Fancy – St. Jude is very close to my heart as it’s right here in Memphis. I know people who work there and it’s just an amazing organization. What they do for the children is above and beyond.If you’re a runner I highly encourage you to come to Memphis to run the St Jude marathon (or half, 10k, or 5k). Hands down it is the most meaningful and memorable race series (I know I’m biased).
I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.