It seems both fitting and funny that Giving Tuesday comes after a few days of credit card debauchery. What we spend on simple things—the $20 here, the $50 there—could easily be translated into the charitable donations. Sometimes the very idea of donating money can be overwhelming simply because there are so many worthy causes, and there’s the feeling that what you give isn’t enough to truly help someone. But just like a crowd is formed when many like-minded individuals convene, so too do charities thrive. Here are some causes that FASHION editors are keeping on their radar this #GivingTuesday, and every other day of the year.
The Shoebox Project
This charity collects shoeboxes full of gifts for women in shelters—items like mitts, specialty tees, toiletries, etc. Erin Reynolds, FASHION‘s photo editor, chose this as her cause of choice this year. “I support this charity for a number of reasons. I love that we have such a surplus of items we get sent from vendors. Other FASHION editors had actually been donating to this charity for years before I started asking others in the office to donate. Donors are encouraged to add in a note of inspiration along with their items.” If you want to make your own shoebox, go to shoeboxproject.com.
Red Door Family Shelter
“This year, I started a monthly donation to Red Door Family Shelter in Toronto, which provides support for homeless families, women escaping violence and refugees,” says executive digital editor Randi Bergman. “I really love that they keep families together and that they put so much effort into caring for their community members, from education to counselling to legal help.” Your donation can be used toward its children’s programs, moving program, food bank or emergency shelters. Visit reddoorshelter.ca to learn more.
Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund
This organization helps with the financial stresses people undergo when diagnosed with breast cancer. “This year, we donated the proceeds from our beauty sale to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund,” says FASHION beauty director Lesa Hannah. “It’s a smaller charity that doesn’t get the same amount of support as others, and goes toward offering short-term financial support for breast cancer patients as well as increasing awareness about potentially harmful ingredients in beauty products.” For more info, go to cbcsf.ca.
Go Fund Me
Crowdfunding is a great option to reach out individually to people you know who need help. “Sadly, in the past few years, I’ve seen several friends go through personal crises that might demand additional and immediate funds. I’ve donated ‘at the source,’ so to speak,” says FASHION executive editor Jacquelyn Francis. “I might not get a tax break, but I feel like I’m making a direct and immediate impact. You might be surprised to find someone you know here.” Search for causes you’d like to donate to on gofundme.com.
Community Education Services Canada is non-profit that’s collecting donations to help Kenyan youths orphaned by the HIV/Aids pandemic. “During this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon expo, my boyfriend came across a representative from this charity who was collecting used running shoes for students in Africa,” says FASHION copy & health editor Emilie Dingfeld. “Because I both test-drive and own a ton of running shoes, as do my colleagues, I plan on collecting and donating as many pairs as I can to the organization, not to mention donating financially to the cause.” To donate, visit cescan.ca.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
“I donate to CAMH every month because I believe that mental health treatment and awareness is important, with 1 in 5 Canadians being affected by mental illness in one way or another, at some point in their lives,” says FASHION associate digital editor Suzie Michael. “Many people can’t get to work each week because of mental health concerns, and it could be greatly helped if they just sought treatment. The stigma persists. Donations go toward research to understand and develop more effective treatments, education, and awareness campaigns.” To see more stats and learn about how you can help the mental health conversation, visit camh.
The Red Cross
You can choose where to donate when you visit The Red Cross website, whether it’s to help Syrian refugees, disaster relief or the Nepal region earthquake fund, among others. For Brian Fleming, FASHION associate art director, he’s planning on putting his dollars there because of an added incentive. “I’m donating to The Red Cross because the Canadian government has pledged to match every eligible dollar to that fund, doubling my efforts. This gives me peace of mind not only knowing that the donations are going to a secure charity, but that my donation will go further than my own dollar.” Donate here, redcross.ca.
Shikshya Foundation Nepal
Fashion designer Prabal Gurung is using his fashion notoriety for a good cause, sending out a call to action among his many followers to support a CrowdRise campaign to support the Shikshya Foundation Nepal, which is helping to rebuild the country after the April 25 earthquake that killed 8,500 people. So far the foundation has helped rebuild shelters and hospitals, and educated children, among countless other actions. To help further the effort, and contribute to the $50,000 fundraising goals, visit crowdrise.com.