Giving and Feeling Good
Monday, December 15, 2014
In general, Canadians are immensely wealthy. Seventy-two percent of people in Canada who are of working age are employed. Despite this astounding number, there are many in our cities who are far less privileged than we are.
Christmas is a popular time to get involved with charities because giving is in the forefront of our minds. Sixty-four percent of Albertans say they will most likely donate to a charity this Christmas. With so many worthy causes and organizations, there are lots of ways we can help our fellow citizens have a better quality of life - not only at this time, but all year long.
If your work schedule does not allow time for volunteering, or if you prefer to give financially, several organizations need monetary donations.
For those who struggle with homelessness and addiction, poverty can seem like an endless cycle. The Calgary Dream Centre seeks to break that cycle by providing food, hygienic items, and resources to help men in Calgary.
The Salvation Army, recognizable by its kettles used for collecting donations, counts on your generosity to eliminate needless poverty by providing individuals with shelter, resources and aid in their time of need.
For many, eating nutritious meals regularly isn’t easy or possible. Meals on Wheels makes and delivers healthy in-home meals to the elderly, the working homeless, vulnerable school children, and anyone who wants to maintain independence in their homes.
In Edmonton alone, 62,000 families are in need of basic provisions during the holiday season. The Christmas Bureau provides families and individuals with Christmas hampers filled with basic necessities and small gifts during the holiday season. They rely on your generous donations to provide these necessities for the underprivileged.
Donating your time
If you have more time than money, many organizations rely solely on volunteers to operate.
Most children know the joy of Christmas as they anxiously await the time when they can open gifts on Christmas morning. For families that cannot afford basic necessities, buying their children toys for Christmas is often out of the question. The Magic of Christmas delivers gifts to families in need. They need volunteers who are willing to play Santa—to bring joy and gifts to families in need.
The Mustard Seed is a homeless shelter in Calgary that has numerous opportunities for volunteers to spread Christmas cheer. Individuals and families can make meals, decorate and write notes of encouragement to those who are less fortunate.
If you love animals, there are animal shelters looking for volunteers to provide one-on-one interaction and loving care for their rescued pets. The Alberta Animal Rescue Society, The Alberta SPCA, Oops-a-Dazy, and the Edmonton or The Calgary Humane Society are just a few organizations that need your help..
Donating your items
If you are among the fortunate who have an abundance of food and clothing this season, you can donate to these organizations that help individuals who are in dire need of these essentials.
The loss of a job, rent increase or even a brief illness may be all it takes for some Albertans to discover they can’t afford to eat. The Calgary Food Bank accepts non-perishable food donations that are distributed to individuals who cannot afford to buy their own.
For those whose daily survival requires all their energy, escaping poverty seems like a dream. The Drop-In Centre and Hope Mission are shelters that require donations of basic hygiene items, clothes, boots, tools, and even laptops to help these men and women of Calgary and Edmonton escape the cycle of poverty.
Families torn apart by domestic violence often flee with very few possessions. Many women’s shelters across Calgary and Edmonton, which can be found on The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters directory, accept gift donations.
Some Alberta families cannot afford necessities like food, blankets and clothing for themselves or their families. Inn From the Cold relies on the generous donations of Calgarians to provide Christmas hampers for these less fortunate.
After the devastating floods of 2013 in Calgary and southern Alberta, many residents are still displaced after having lost their homes and all their possessions. In particular, residents of Morley have inadequate clothing for the winter conditions. There are several winter coat drives across the city of Calgary to help with this crisis.
Generosity takes on many forms. If you have money, time, food, clothing, toys, or an overflowing heart this holiday season, consider donating to those who are without. In fact, make this holiday season the beginning of your charitable efforts that will last throughout the year. Perhaps the most powerful thing we can do for others is to assist the oppressed, help the helpless, and give a voice to the voiceless.