Great Causes – 83,000 Canadian charities accepting contributions online – you can even give charity gift cards as memorable holiday season or marker event gifts, for the person (who should know they have) with everything. Web site: (http://www NULL.canadahelps

Lesser known charities where your money makes a huge difference:

  • (http://www NULL.panziFoundation – Did you know Congo is the rape capital of the world? Help victims get hospital treatment, counseling, and training that can change lives.
  • Edna Hospital, Somaliland (http://www NULL.ednahospital – be a part of this inspiring story of providing maternal health to women in a country with one of the highest infant mortality rates on the planet. Join Edna Adan Ismali – who ploughed her life savings into creating the hospital and now supports it with her pension – in transforming the lives of women and children.
  • Union Gospel Mission (http://www NULL.ugm, Vancouver – I learned about UGM from a close friend’s father, the late Glenn Baker, who was a United Church Minister there for a number of years. As a surburbanite child of middle-class parents, I had no exposure to poverty and the ravages of addiction. Their 6 month drug and alcohol recovery program is long enough to stabilize changes in many addicts and alcoholics, and they have been able to help many individuals and families find stable and affordable housing, breaking the cycle of homelessness and joblessness.

And two close to our hearts:

  • The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (http://www NULL.ahf – Sechelt is a town located in traditional Shishalh territory, and we share this isthmus with the Sechelt people. Aboriginal people across Canada struggle mightily with addiction, homelessness, and chronic poverty and it will be a wholesale cultural program that will restore families and social structures so damaged over the last 100 years.
  • It Gets Better Project (http://www NULL.itgetsbetterproject – telling the stories of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people,  and those who love them – with advocacy, videos, and help from adults who are leading healthy GLBT lives. GLBT youth in crisis can get immediate assistance from The Trevor Project (http://www NULL.itgetsbetter (866-4-U-TREVOR 866-488-7386) and find mentors to help them transition into healthy adulthood. Buy a t-shirt and your donation funds life-saving suicide prevention services and anti-bullying efforts.