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What a year! Now what do we get the world for the holidays?

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I do not have a comprehensive list of worthy organizations for holiday donations or volunteering. There are too many Canadian organizations which are still functioning at reduced capacity due to cuts and clawbacks they experienced during the Harper regime.  Many of them would be happy to get donations or assistance to keep serving their communities.

Do some quick searches for issues that interest you and find organizations in your community or in other communities.

For quick and easy sites,  there is Canada Helps, which claims to be a one stop shop for charitable giving.  Do be aware that some organizations pay to be promoted on the Canada Helps site and many great organizations are not listed on the site.  If you want to help an individual family, one of many alternatives is Holiday Helpers which connects people to individual families who need some help during the holidays.  And if you are on Youtube and want to see some really great videos about charity initiatives, check out Project For Awesome 2015 which has raised $1.5 million for various issues.  

I know this is bourgeois. I apologize. I know many of you know of other organizations and so do put them in the comments section or at toolkit@rabble.ca.

What motivated the post, however, is how we give. According to the CBC, many Canadians are interested in helping refugees this holiday season. A few months ago, the Globe and Mail published an article by Leah McLaren which talked about the capacity of organizations to use our gifts.  According to McLaren, a few months ago some people saw Syrian parents struggling to carry all their belongings and their children as they escaped the horrors of war--and so baby carrying gear started arriving at the Red Cross and UNHCR.  The problem is the child carriers are bulky and many of these organizations do not have ways to link the need to the donation. McLaren makes a great suggestion by recommending that we give our baby carriers and other goods to local women`s shelters and to other organizations in our communities.  Right now, the organizations on the ground cannot absorb a lot of our used things --blanket yes, Bugaboos..when they have the capacity to match the floods of refugees to individual needs.

So I guess that is my humble contribution to your charitable giving plans, as you try to build ways to help, build solidarity with people and the organizations working in the communities and find out if they are able to absorb your gift. Do the research and help build the organizations instead of overloading them.  

Thank you for all you do.

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