C is for Charity: Ideas to start your giving journey
An alphabetical look at some of the charities and organizations that could use your help this Giving Tuesday and beyond
DEAN LISK SPECIAL TO THE STAR
With 86,000 registered charities in Canada, there is no shortage of places where you can donate or give the gift of your time. To help get you started, we compiled an A-to-Z list of some common interests and suggest a charity or organization that could use your support this Giving Tuesday and throughout the year.
Raising funds to help transform the way we understand and treat mental illness, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (CAMH) advances research and innovation, build spaces that promote recovery, and break down stigmas. (give.camh.ca)
For its 1,000 Bikes Campaign, Bikes without Borders is trying to divert 1,000 bikes from ending up in landfills so they can be refurbished and provided to no/low-income newcomers, refugees and marginalized peoples in the Toronto area. It operates three drop-off locations in the city for used bikes that are in good condition — not rusted or very broken. (bikeswithout borders.org)
Helping people take control of cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society, along with its donors and volunteers, works to improve the lives of all those affected by the disease. Its mission includes research to prevent, detect and treat cancer, advocacy and supporting people with cancer so they can lead more fulfilling lives. (cancer.ca)
With the help of more than 3,500 volunteers, Habitat for Humanity GTA helps lower and modest income families move into adequate housing, providing them with a safe, decent, affordable place to live. Its housing builds around the Toronto region include multi-unit projects, including townhomes, and high- and mid-rise developments. (habitatgta.ca)
Collaborating with local communities to conserve natural resources, the World Wildlife Fund works to build a future in which people and nature thrive. Among its focuses are promoting and advocating for policies toward sustainability, tackling threats like the climate crisis, and protecting and restoring wildlife and their habitats. (worldwildlife.org)
A Toronto-based non-profit organization, Furniture Bank calls itself Canada’s most socially responsible furniture removal service. For a fee, it picks up your gently used items and then provides it to families and individuals experiencing furniture poverty, including women and children leaving shelters, people transitioning from homelessness, and newcomers and refugees to Canada. (furniture bank.org)
Offering different mentoring programs,
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto gives youth who are experiencing adversities an opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of race, culture, religion, gender or sexual orientation — helping transform their lives and also making a lasting impact on those who volunteer. (bbbstoronto.com)
With more and more Canadians struggling to make ends meet, reliance on food banks has grown. A recent report found that one in 10 Torontonians now rely on food banks, with average users only having $6.67 a day to spend on food after paying for their rent and utilities.
The report by the Daily Bread Food Bank (dailybread.ca), which covers a one-year period starting in April 2022, also found that users come from households where at least one person is employed, 60 per cent have a post-secondary education and 25 per cent — 40,000 in total — are children and youth.
Another group to consider giving to is Feed Ontario (feedontario.ca), the province’s largest collective of hungerrelief organizations. It works with food banks, industry partners, and local communities to end hunger by providing fresh and healthy food.
Amnesty international is a human rights organization and global movement of more than 10 million people who campaign for human rights — from the free speech to Indigenous rights. It accepts no funding from governments and relies solely on the public’s generosity. (amnesty.ca)
A global relief, development and advocacy organization, World Vision Canada focuses on helping the most vulnerable girls and boys around the world overcome poverty and experience fuller lives. It is focused on emergency relief, transformational development and promotion of justice — including education, safe water, food, health care and economic empowerment. (worldvision.ca)
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, which includes Elizabeth Fry Toronto, offers services to
address the ways women and gender-diverse people are impacted by criminalization and excluded from community. (caefs.ca)
Canada’s only 24/7 health service offering free, confidential support to young people, Kids Help Phone offers mental health information, crisis support and professional counselling to those who need it. It offers e-mental health service, a toll-free phone line and free texting options so it can always be there to help youth. (kidshelpphone.ca)
Helping LGBTQ+ people living under constant threat of death, violence, criminalization and persecution around the world, the Rainbow Railroad makes it possible for them to find safety. The organization has launched its #60in60 campaign with the goal of raising funds to help at least 60 people get to safety, at least 60 people receive financial assistance, and at least 60 people receive the supports they need in the last 60 days of 2023. (rainbowrailroad.org)
Providing medical care to people caught in crisis around the globe, Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada gets more than 97 per cent of its funding from private donors. The organization has the flexibility to respond quickly when the need is greatest, from conflict zones to natural disasters. (action.msf.ca)
Started in 1968, The Centre for Immigrant and Community Services has been providing a variety of services and programs to newcomers, immigrants and citizens from all backgrounds. Its programs include employment support, language training, and community and settlement assistance. (cicscanada.com)
Donations to the Bruce Trail Conservancy are used to help to protect and maintain the unique natural diversity of the Niagara Escarpment and make it publicly accessible through the Bruce Trail. Its mission is to preserve a ribbon of wilderness for everyone to enjoy by permanently protecting a natural corridor along the escarpment. (brucetrail.org)
Helping thousands of animals in its care and those in the community, the Toronto Humane Society takes care of those that have been surrendered to it — including medical, behavioural and rehabilitative care — and also develops programs to assist animals and the people that love them in the GTA and beyond. (torontohumanesociety.com)
Operating across the country, the Breakfast Club of Canada provides healthy meals — following Canada’s Food Guide and provincial standards — to children. Its meals include at least three different food groups, and it relies on a network of private and public supporters to realize its mission. (breakfastclubcanada.org)
According to the First Book Canada website, 25 per cent of Canadian households don’t have a single book and many schools in economically disadvantaged communities can only afford one new library book a year for every three children. This non-profit provides brandnew, high-quality books and resources to the educators and kids who need them most. (firstbookcanada.org)
The charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Jays Care Foundation works to make it possible for all children and youth to have access to safe, inclusive and fun recreation activities regardless of ability, race, gender, sexuality, remote location or socio-economic status. (mlb. com/ bluejays/community/jays-care)
With a mission to support Indigenous women and their children in the Greater Toronto Area, the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto offers programming, ceremonies, and community events to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of its clients. (nwrct.ca)
As Canada’s largest homeless youth agency, Covenant House Toronto provides a wide range of supports under one roof to help vulnerable youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk. It offers housing options, health and well-being support, training and skill development, and ongoing care once youth move into the community. (covenanthousetoronto.ca)
Operating a network of six shelters across the city — Maxwell Meighen Centre, New Hope Leslieville, The Gateway, Florence Booth House, Islington Seniors’ Shelter and Evangeline Residence — The Salvation Army Toronto Housing & Homeless Supports offer an open door to people in crisis. It also offers mental health, social enterprises and transitional supports for people experiencing homelessness. (torontohhs.org)
Dress For Success Toronto offers services that support women striving for economic empowerment. Its programs — including providing professional attire for interview or a new job and skills development workshops — are free to individual living in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area who identify as women or non-binary. (dressforsuccesstoronto.org)
Offering its services for 15 years, the Rainbow Songs Foundation provides high-quality, interactive music programs free of cost to marginalized families with children using shelter and refugee services in the Greater Toronto Area. It provides weekly group music classes for younger children and small group music lessons to school aged children. (rainbowsongsfoundation.org)
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Toronto Fund offer skill-based programs to more than 5,700 children and youth in 37 safe environments across Toronto every day. This includes everything from homework help and lifeskills counselling, to youth leadership and employment readiness. (canada helps.org/en/charities/ boys-and-girlsclubs-of-greater-toronto-fund)
A partner with the Toronto Zoo, the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to fighting against animal extinction. It secures financial resources for wildlife conservation, helps preserve endangered species, and supports breeding programs and efforts to reintroduce endangered animals into the wild. (wildlifeconservancy.ca)
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