Christmas is the season of giving. I am very proud of what our local Winnipeg community does to help those less fortunate around the holidays: toy drives, coats for kids, homeless shelter turkey dinners, and the list goes on. All of these charitable groups, organizations and shelters are so worthy of support. The only thing that upsets me about this is that Christmas, and the holiday season, is only one month of the year. However, most people less fortunate need help all year round.
I have been thinking, what if we each gave 50% of what we give at Christmas to these associations throughout the year. For example, if you give $100 at Christmas to a charity of this nature, why not plan to donate $10 each month after Christmas? The need is still there long after the trees are put away or recycled. If you budget for a maximum amount of $120 per year total, why not spread it out over the year – monthly. Not only would this allow the groups to receive ongoing funding, but it will also be easier for you to budget. As most groups can directly withdraw from your bank account, it would be “pain-free” rather than a wallop at Christmas time when you are already spending a bundle.
If you are currently not donating to any charity now, but have the means, why not? Start now. Not sure where to give or how? Here are a list of local organizations that I am sure would love to hear from you in January. Please continue or start to give – either to these organizations or any other close to your heart. It will help us build a strong, caring and vibrant community.
Main Street Project, Inc. – 204.982.8260 – www.mainstreetproject.ca
Ndinawe provides emergency shelter and counseling services for runaway youth – 204.586.2588
Native Women’s Transition Centre is a community-based, 21 bed facility providing support and services to Aboriginal women and children. Program and service philosophy is to strengthen and support Native women who have experienced victimization to become self-sufficient. – 204.989.8240
Ikwe-Widdjiitiwin is a crisis shelter that provides safe accommodation, supportive counselling and advocacy to abused Aboriginal women and their children. Other services include a non-residential program and 24 hour provincial crisis line counselling. – 204.987.2780
Agape Table Inc. serves the needs of the hungry in the inner city of Winnipeg – 204.786.2370 www.agapetable.ca
Powerhouse Winnipeg is a non-profit community organization that provides emergency and support services to street involved youth aged 16-29. A drop-in center which provides peer support, referrals, advocacy, a free store (clothing, blankets, shoes etc…), outreach, Internet, laundry facilities, food, an on- site Public Health Nurse and telephone access for job and housing searches. – 204.953.1310
Siloam Mission is a faith-based agency that serves 500 – 900 poor and homeless a day, at no cost or preconditions through its: meal program, food bank, clothing bank, counseling, emergency shelter, agency referrals, employment-training programs, health centre, income tax preparations, a 12 step recovery program, addictions meetings & groups, access to phone, postal mail service, a book program, optional spiritual services, haircuts, etc… - 204.956.4344 www.siloam.ca