Ways to Give Back this Season

In the true spirit of the season, we’re sharing  some of our favourite ways to give back over the holidays. Whether you are giving you time, money or items, this time of the year is the perfect opportunity to give back a little bit more.

While every month of the year is a good time to give back to the community, something about the holiday season seems to inspire Calgarians to go the extra mile. We are proud to be part of a city that has overcome countless challenges and changes.

Giving back isn’t just about helping others. Many studies have found that volunteering helps combat depression and anxiety by keeping loneliness at bay. Volunteering will help you feel like you are part of a community and can lead to new friendships.

Volunteering is also known to benefit physical health. A study in 2022 found that adults over 50 years of age who volunteer are less likely to experience hypertension or high blood pressure compared to those who don’t.

5 Volunteering Opportunities in Calgary

One way to volunteer is through giving your time. We have gathered a few ideas that can help make our community a better place for all and encourage anyone who has some extra time to give.

  1. Be a snow angel – As insignificant as simply shoveling snow might seem, it certainly goes a long way for Calgarians with mobility concerns. The next time the snow flies, keep an eye out for your neighbours that might have trouble shoveling snow, consider adopting their sidewalk as if it was your own.
  2. Connect with Calgary Seniors – The Brenda Strafford Foundation, right here in U/D, is always looking for people to support their programming. Between painting residents’ nails and performing live music to simply being a friendly conversationalist, there are plenty of ways to support the people that depend on their housing and services.
  3. Become a Wayfinder at the Alberta Children’s Hospital – After two years of unsurmountable pressure on our healthcare system, it is important we all do our part to lift it up. Stepping into a hospital can be a challenging time for a family and a friendly face to welcome them goes a long way.
  4. Give back to the University of Calgary – The University of Calgary is always looking for people with a wide range of skill sets to help carry out their academic mission. Whether you are looking to volunteer your time on a board, step up as a mentor to new students or support events, there is always a place for help on and off campus.
  5. Find a charity in need – There are no shortage of places in Calgary that are in desperate need of helping hands. Volunteerconnector.org is a great place to start if you are unsure where you might fit in. There are currently hundreds of volunteer postings for people of all skill sets and time commitments.

Donating your time is not the only way to give back this season. Plenty of Calgary charities depend on monetary and goods donations to keep their programs running for those who are able to.

5 Calgary Charities in need of Donations

  1. I Can for Kids – The cost of growing groceries bills is impacting everyone but families with multiple mouths to feed can feel the pinch more than others. I Can for Kids helps parents feed their families with dignity through grocery shopping gift cards. 
  2. The Calgary Children’s Foundation – If there’s one day a year you should tune into the radio, it should be the day of the Calgary Children’s Foundation Radiothon. The purpose of this homegrown charity is to support local organizations through year-round funding. Far too many charities fall through the cracks and this small but mighty organization makes sure nobody gets left behind.
  3. WINS – Did you know that when you shop or donate to WINS, that money goes right back into the Calgary community? This local thrift store is constantly looking for clothing, furniture and household items to sell in their stores. Next time you are reorganizing or decluttering your house, consider dropping your items off at WINS and feel good knowing those items will go a long way towards supporting vulnerable Calgarians. 
  4. Alberta Children’s Hospital Gift Fund – By supporting this unique fund, children and their families are able to enjoy toys, games and arts and crafts all year round. Whether it is part of therapeutic play or just for fun, it is an important part of making a child’s experience in the hospital something they can look back fondly at.
  5. Vecova – Another simple win-win way to donate is through the Vecova bottle pick-up service. Vecova will come to your door and pick up your bottles for free! Not only does this take a chore off your to-do list but you can also feel good knowing the deposit from those bottles will go towards their programming for people with disabilities.

As we head into the holiday season, we love seeing our neighbours step up for each other. Whether you choose to donate your time, goods or money, we hope you feel gratitude and pride in your community.

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