Illustration: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

How to best donate your time or money over the holidays

While the holiday season is known for shopping sales and fulfilling wish lists, make sure you spend time thinking of others in need too. Whether they’re located in your local community, across Canada, or at the other end of the planet, find an organization that means something to you, and donate your time or any money you can spare. When we help each other, we all become better people as a result.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood provides resources that include access to abortion, birth control,  women and men’s sexual health information, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and more. While this organization originated in the United States, Planned Parenthood is found across Canada with a local chapter located here in Ottawa, where you can also volunteer.

Additionally, their global initiative provides care for people in Latin America and Africa, where a large portion of the population don’t have access to adequate sexual health services.

With the current political shift in the United States, indicating a likely Republican Supreme Court majority, it is clear that this fundamental organization will be in need of all the support people can provide. In order to continue their work in advocating the importance of sexual health knowledge, they sure would appreciate your donations.

—Alexa-Eliza Carter

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization

The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) offers services from settlement and integration assistance, language lessons, career mentoring, and counselling. It’s been about a year since the first plane of Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, and a lot of local organizations have been working tirelessly to make these newcomers feel welcome and help them find success in their new lives. Supporting them through the OCISO is a great way to see your donation directly improve our community.

—Janoah Victoria-Willsie

Himalayan Life

Himalayan Life operates in Nepal, and most of their attention is driven towards the regions that suffered the most from the earthquakes during the spring of 2015. This event destroyed surrounding settlements, especially the village of Yangri, and Himalayan Life conducted a successful fundraiser to restore the village from shambles.

Founders Daniel and Karina Burgi even rebuilt a hydropower plant that restored light to Yangri. The organization is focusing on building schools throughout Nepal for children whose families cannot support the children enough to properly educate them. They also hope to develop a unique funding technology of plastic filtering to provide funds for the construction of various schools. 

—Anastasiia Cherygova

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is an American support centre for crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth. They provide online education resources such as workshops that discuss topics including sexual orientation and gender identity, and aim to teach middle and high school students.

They have online training programs like Step In, Speak Up, and in-person training like Ally and CARE for youth-serving professionals. They are available at a moment’s notice via text, chat, and phone.

—Alexa-Eliza Carter