Giving Season Continues! 7 Causes Worth Caring About

charity2On December 1, charities and special interest groups across the world celebrated Giving Tuesday: a day dedicated to giving back. Giving Tuesday isn’t just a day, however: it’s the official kick off of the giving season. Why should you prioritize giving this season? Though there are a number of reasons, here are just a few:

  • It helps connect you to the community you’re living in
  • Even small donations have a direct impact in the lives of people who need support
  • Giving to others is directly correlated with an increased sense of well-being and happiness

As you check off those names on your holiday list, we wanted you to keep in mind a few causes that are important to us. We hope you’ll consider giving them your support this season.

1. INKWELL WORKSHOPS
InkWell Workshops were started by friends of the FOLD- University of Guelph MFA in Creative Writing grads Kathy Friedman and Eufemia Fantetti. Inkwell ‘s mission is to run writing workshops for people with mental-health and addictions issues which are led by professional artists with lived experience of mental illness. Beginning in 2016, they’’re partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto to deliver programming through its Social Resource Centre. Inkwell envisions a vibrant community of writers and readers in which all live free from stigma. If this sounds like something you support, get in touch with them today: inkwellworkshops@gmail.com

2. DEAF LITERACY INITIATIVE
At the FOLD, we encourage a life-long love of reading by connecting readers with books that are relevant to them: this includes a medium for reading that is accessible. That’s why we believe in the work of the Deaf Literacy Initiative, who are encouraging literacy within special interest groups. DLI is a provincial umbrella organization that provides accessible and culturally relevant training, research, networking and resources to the Deaf and Deaf-Blind literacy community in Ontario. DLI hopes to become a world leader in promoting and supporting the needs of the deaf and deaf blind communities, and providing accessible and accredited training for practitioners and learners in the Deaf and Deaf blind literacy agencies. Support their work here.

3. FRONTIER COLLEGE
Poor literacy skills are directly connected to poverty, poor health and unemployment, some of the biggest challenges to Canada’s social and economic well-being. Frontier College is not in fact a college, but Canada’s original literacy organization. FC has been working with children, youth and adults nationally for over 100 years! Today, Frontier College works with over 2,500 volunteers to operate a variety of literacy programs: in addition, FC helps over 250 community-based organizations set up and run literacy programs for their own participants. To learn more about them and ways you can give to Frontier College, click here.

4. YOUTH LINE
Youth Line believes that the stories of young LGBTTQQI2SA youth matter, and are invested in supporting them. Youth Line is a peer based, toll-free phone support line to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning youth across Ontario. Their mission is to combat isolation and lack of information that are tremendous barriers for LGBT+ youth. This season, you can help YouthLine get a new phone system. Due to increased provincial outreach, more youth than ever are using the help line- and they don’t have the capacity currently to keep up. Help them to help others! Donate to them here.

5. NEWCOMER CENTRE OF PEEL
The enduring values and principles of Canada are built on freedom, inclusion, respect for cultural differences, and a commitment to social justice. These values make Canada a destination of choice for immigrants of all backgrounds. Agencies that assist newcomer families in achieving settlement and integration are seeing a massive influx this season. Newcomer Centre of Peel (NCP), a multi-service charitable non-profit organization, is one such agency, and they need your help. With innovative and comprehensive settlement services, NCP offers culturally diverse programs for women, youth, children, adults and seniors. NCP strives for equal access to opportunities, enabling immigrants to connect to the enduring values and principles of what defines Canada. Their vision is to continue to evolve together as a community. You can support that vision here.

6. VIBE Arts
VIBE Arts is an award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under-resourced communities with high quality community and school based arts and education.  “We believe in the artistic agency of young people, and its capacity to produce resonating, lasting and transformational results in the community,” says VIBE founder Julie Frost. Over the last 20 years, VIBE Arts has built a progressive program framework that centres on collaboration and arts-based learning, and supports young people (3 to 28) to contribute meaningfully to society as artists and cultural innovators, while gaining transferable skills, leadership and self-efficiency. If you believe in the power of arts to transform lives (of course you do!), support VIBE Arts here.

7. REGIONAL DIVERSITY ROUNDTABLE
Composed of over 30 non-profits in the Peel Region, Regional Diversity Roundtable is committed to training and resource development that will create institutions that are diverse and equitable; in turn, these agencies can provide services that are fair, inclusive, respectful and culturally competent in Peel Region and throughout Ontario.  Groups like RDR, that provide an inclusive space for individuals and agencies to ask tough questions and learn new ways of thinking that are in alignment with equity, inclusion and respect, are a crucial part of building tolerant communities. If you believe in what they do, support them here.

Lastly, did we mention the FOLD is a not-for-profit, too? We need your support this season! Check out our online Teespring t-shirt shop to browse styles and colours, and find some hilarious gifts for the book lovers in your life. A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the FOLD. Help us reach 200 shirts: we have less than a week to go!

Megan Lambe is the Communications and Development Coordinator of the FOLD.