Pay it Forward

With the giving season upon us, think beyond the typical gift and find ways to give back to those in need.
Published October 8, 2016

Tis the season of all things gifts; as we frantically buzz from shop to shop, it’s a great time to take a step back and consider alternate ways to give gifts that have meaning.

A 2015 Ipsos Reid study revealed that 59 per cent of Canadians agree that they would prefer to receive a charitable gift that would help someone else, as opposed to a physical gift.  Are you looking to change your gift-giving routine? This holiday, consider adding charitable giving to your gifting repertoire.

“We are seeing a real growth in the movement of people who want to give more,” says Shannon Craig, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Canada Helps. A charitable organization, Canada Helps’ mission is to increase giving in Canada by being an easy to use, one-stop shop for discovering, donating and fundraising online for any registered Canadian charity.

One way Canada Helps makes charitable giving easy is with their gift card program. “It allows Canadians to purchase a gift card online, and give it to a recipient,” says Craig. “The recipient can then search for any registered charity in Canada that they care about and donate the funds of that gift card to that charity.”

A growing program, Craig says the response from both givers and receivers has been fantastic. In addition, she says that the program “Helps to create a lot of discussion around charitable giving, which is really great.”

Canada Helps also offers the option of giving charitable gifts, where you can purchase a physical gift for a specific cause that is important to you, or the person whom you are donating in honour of.

Another way you can help those in need is through your local food bank. Nearly one million Canadians use a food bank each month, and one in six people who use a food bank are employed. Food insecurity affects 13 per cent of Canadians, and through donating food, you can help to alleviate the struggles of Canadian families during the holidays. Want to find out how you can help? Visit Food Banks Canada to find out more.

Is volunteering more your style? Volunteer Canada offers a plethora of ways to give back to those in need by volunteering your time and expertise. Interested in volunteering, but not sure where to start? Take their interactive volunteer quiz to find out what kind of volunteer you are!