The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. Many of us get to share meals with loved ones, decorate our homes for the festivities, and exchange gifts. While many find an abundance of gifts under their tree, or on each night of Hanukkah, it’s also important to consider those who are less fortunate than we are. This is why one should consider charitable giving during the holidays in place of material gifts.
If you’re stumped over what to get someone, a donation to a worthy cause in their name or dedicated to them, is a wonderful gesture to show your support for a cause and to truly get into the spirit of the holidays.
Here are some ideas and organizations Canadians can consider when making a charitable gift:
Feed the hungry
Here’s an idea. When you sit down with your family for a holiday meal, place a card on each person’s plate stating that a donation has been made in their name to the Food Banks Canada, so that others might enjoy a hearty, nutritious meal as well. You can donate food to local food banks, or make a monetary donation online.
Bring joy to children
While many parents have been shopping for months for the latest toys and electronics for their kids, others are just trying to pay the rent and feed their families. Make the holiday a happy one for some children who’s spirits would be lifted by your generosity. These are children in your own community who just want to have a regular childhood. Maybe donate a toy for each of the children in your family to Toy Mountain, or make a monetary donation and dedicate it to a loved one.
Another way to can help children in your community is through Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program. Many families cannot afford to enroll their kids in recreational sports, leaving many behind their peers. There are so many physical and social benefits to playing recreational sports, such as teamwork, confidence, communication, discipline, and cardiovascular health. Make a donation today.
You can also make a donation to the Children’s Wish Foundation as a charitable gift, so that you can help Canadian families with children living with life threatening conditions experience joy.
Don’t forget our furry friends
If you’re an animal lover, consider making a donation in support of a charity dedicated to the care and conservation of animals. For kids (and adults too!) the World Wildlife Fund’s Canadian branch offers symbolic wildlife adoptions as part of their charitable gift program. These mark great gifts for any occasion because every adoption comes with a plush toy version of the animal and a certificate.
Another way you can help animals is by donating to local Humane Societies, SPCAs, and animal shelters. Help these organizations help animals find their forever homes through charitable giving.
If you want to support a cause that will help people in developing and war torn regions of the world, there are many organizations you can support to help give people a better life. The organization Care has many programs designed to help developing nations, including donating goats to communities in need. By donating a goat, or another farm animal, you are helping to end hunger. Goats can provide milk, which can help to nourish families. They can sell the excess for a profit.
A cause that is quite topical right now is the plight of the Syrian refugees. By donating to the cause through the Canadian Red Cross, you can help with the resettlement and relief efforts.
While opening a gift is a fun and festive tradition, consider scaling back on the presents and consider opening your heart to a worthy cause. Help make it a magical holiday season for all!