For those of you who may not know, Family Day is a statutory holiday in February that occurs in certain Canadian provinces. As the title suggests, the holiday was created so Canadians could spend the day at home with their families instead of at work or school. It’s a cute concept, right?
I spent the long weekend enjoying time with my family as we soaked up the unexpected sunshine and had a barbecue for the first time since October. As we ate, however, I couldn’t help feeling sad for those people who were unable to gather with their families this past weekend. We often forget that so many Canadians come from broken homes, live below the poverty line, and/or are homeless. According to Canada Without Poverty, an estimated 1 in 7 Canadians are currently experiencing conditions of poverty. That’s not okay.
Here’s a quick list of how you can help families in need. Remember, every little bit counts…
- Make a donation to a Canadian charity. Whether you can spare $25 0r $250, this is one of the simplest ways to make a difference. Here is an excellent list of the top-rated charities and foundations across the country – they’ll put your money to good use.
- Donate your old clothes, toys, books, and furniture to those who would cherish your used items. Ideally, this is something you should already be doing! We all have old items sitting around and collecting dust. Torontonians can check out this list of where to donate and which organizations offer free pick-ups.
- Volunteer. Try local homeless shelters, Indigenous groups, soup kitchens, poverty organizations, and social justice foundations – they’re often searching for more help.
- Get involved. Become an advocate for a charity, foundation or organization that helps eliminate poverty, such as Make Poverty History Canada. Sign petitions and help spread messages of how we can help eradicate poverty in our country.
- Take action. You can sponsor a refugee to come to Canada and reunite with their family, you can protect trafficked persons in Canada, you can build homes for homeless families…the list goes on!
There are so many ways for you to roll up your sleeves and help make a difference in the lives of those in need. Don’t forget to ask your family and friends to get involved with you – you’ll be able to enjoy time together while joining forces to ease the burdens of other families. Thanks for reading!