The holiday season is about showing our appreciation for those we love, but it’s also an opportunity to give back to our communities. At this time of year, providing hope and resources to those in need can help make the season even more special.
This year, the Stilhavn team came together to spread a little cheer with causes close to our hearts. As a team, we’ve donated a gift basket to the North Shore Family Services Christmas Bureau, and we’ve raised over $8,000 for the local SPCA and more than $13,000 for local food banks.
We’ve been building to our most significant donation all year and are proud to announce that in 2020, we’ve raised over $25,000 for Covenant House. With hometown hero Ryan Reynolds triple matching donations, that money will go even further!
If you need a little help finding ways to give back to your community this holiday season, here are some worthy causes to consider.
Greater Vancouver Food Bank
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a nationwide spike in food insecurity, with one in seven Canadians struggling to put food on the table.
Roughly 557,000 British Columbians live below the poverty line, and one in four children don’t have enough to eat in some communities.
Many of us take the food we eat for granted, but with demand climbing, alleviating food insecurity should be at the top of our lists this holiday season.
The Greater Vancouver Foodbank makes giving easy. You can donate food, set up a recurring financial donation, or host a virtual food drive.
Get started now, and learn more about donating to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
If you know anyone in need of food support, please share this link with them.
Blanket BC Society’s mission is to deliver warmth and comfort to those in need this Christmas.
The award-winning nonprofit collects and distributes blankets and warm clothing for shelters, families in need, emergency services, First Nations, and Indigenous communities.
They also promote awareness and education on homelessness, poverty, and socio-economic issues by encouraging volunteerism at an early age. This BC institution has been serving local communities through these values for 15 years.
If you have any spare lightly used blankets or warm clothing to donate, consider Blanket BC.
Call them today (778-242-9940) or visit their website to learn more.
Union Gospel Mission
Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is giving us all an opportunity to transform lives this Christmas.
UGM helps local families create happy Christmas memories by providing gifts, meals, winter care kits, and shelter to families in need.
Whether you choose to fundraise or prefer to donate, the UGM’s initiatives provide major benefits for local communities. They’ve almost reached their 2020 #ShareChristmas campaign goal of $40,000 raised — let’s help them get there!
Megaphone Magazine + “Hope in Shadows” Calendar
Megaphone Magazine‘s nonprofit model is one of Vancouver’s most innovative. They provide meaningful work for low-income individuals through their Megaphone Vendors program, empowering more than 150 people experiencing poverty every year.
Through the Vendor program, individuals sell monthly magazines, calendars, and day planners created by Megaphone and can pocket the profits earned through their hard work.
The “Hope in Shadows” calendar is the result of an annual photography contest: Megaphone vendors use single-use disposable cameras to capture images of their communities, and the top photos make the calendar for the next year.
Vendors often face challenging employment barriers — such as homelessness, addiction, health challenges, and more — and Megaphone is one of the most accessible employment routes for otherwise marginalized individuals.
Purchase any of Megaphone’s digital products online, or buy your 2021 calendar from the next vendor you see.
Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau
The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau (LMCB) has been making Christmas for kids since 1930, and they’re dedicated to ensuring that every child in our communities is smiling during the holidays.
Each year, the LMCB empowers around 1,000 low-income families in Vancouver, providing gifts to almost 2,000 kids. Thanks to ongoing community generosity, they have also distributed 100,000 toys to other bureaus and agencies across the Lower Mainland to spread holiday cheer.
Help put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas and donate now.
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside suffer disproportionate levels of poverty and marginalization. These barriers are tough to overcome, especially if individuals belong to a vulnerable population, such as those experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or addiction struggles.
The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) aims to provide a safe, judgement-free environment for women of all walks of life who live or work in the Downtown Eastside. They support members with caring surroundings, nourishing meals, counselling, advocacy, and ongoing programs.
Help empower the women who live and work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by donating online this holiday season.
Giving Makes the Holidays Better
The holidays are often a happy time, but this rough pandemic year has been even tougher on some communities. If you’re able, find a cause that resonates with you and make a difference in your community.
From everyone at Stilhavn, we wish you and your family a festive and healthy holiday season!