Every year at this time I post a list of my 5 suggestions for local organizations to support. This year you will see United Way Ottawa, Youth Services Bureau, Hospice Ottawa (West) Campaign, Kanata Food Cupboard and CHEO Foundation. There are of course thousands of other organizations which are equally deserving of support – both local and across the world, and I encourage you in the spirit of the season to post the organization you want to give a shout out to in the comments!
An important note – I financially support all of these organizations (as well as several more), and for numerous organizations I have started with monthly donations – an affordable way to provide continuing financial support. Most organizations have their own monthly giving programs, and you can find many organizations through Canada Helps – a great way to manage your donations.
This organization has been giving so much , for so many years. I was personally very committed to the organization for years, running the workplace campaign. The United Way has changed with the times and provides value to the organizations it supports as well as the rest of the community. As community giving changes, the United Way changes as well. I encourage you to check out this great piece of United Way Stories – the focus on “lives changed” is supported by these stories and I encourage you to support this great cornerstone of Ottawa.
I have sat of the Board of the Youth Services Bureau Foundation since it’s founding several years ago. The YSB does incredibly important work with the youth of Ottawa, including housing, mental health, employment and education. The YSB has been the leading agency working with youth in Ottawa for over 50 years, and they need your support. The motto “Impact tomorrow, today” speaks to the need for our community to invest in supporting our youth. Again, this is an agency which is best understood by listening to stories of the impact it has: take some time to do that and you will want to support this great organization.
I predict (and hope!) that in 2015 Canada will have a dialogue about end of life care. This discussion is long overdue, and organizations in our community have been caring for those at the end of their lives for years. Kanata is the home to a very new and beautiful Hospice Ottawa facility – in June 2013 they purchased the Church building at 110 McCurdy Drive. The campaign to raise $6 million to add 10 hospice care beds is only $1 million away from it’s goal! This is such a wonderful addition to our community and I encourage you to help them reach their goal.
Wherever you are, there is almost certainly an organization operating a food bank of some sort. Food banks across Canada have reported this year that demand is up and resources become more and more stretched. Food banks increasingly support those in need with more than food – doing annual school supply drives, holiday presents and meeting other necessities. This is one of the most grass roots way that we give the most essential support to our neighbours. The Kanata Food Cupboard is one agency which provides so much support to our community and I encourage you to support them, or another local food bank!
CHEO has a special place in the heart of parents in our community – it is impossible to be a parent in Ottawa and not have either taken your child to CHEO or know a child who has been under their care. It is a fantastic hospital which has undergone much modernization in operations and fundraising in recent years. As a family we have spent time at CHEO with both of our children, and children very close to our family are under continuing care at CHEO. CHEO is always fundraising for new equipment (which is, generally, not supported by our Provincial tax dollars) and also for important, life-saving research. Please give to this important organization!