This Giving Tuesday. Grassroots BC Organization to Support

Small acts of kindness make a big collective impact for BC non-profits

article material

In her 15 years of helping grassroots charities gain exposure and funding, a distinctive act of kindness is forever embedded in the memory of philanthropist Amanda Burroughs.

advertisement

article material

She says, “In 2020 I set up a website to raise funding for DTES Response, which aimed to disseminate food and hygiene products to combat the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable residents. One of our first checks was for $4.53 – it was the last penny from someone who was struggling to make ends meet but wanted to help make things better.

The accumulation of small checks has grown so much that to date, DTES Response has distributed more than $500,000 to coordinated projects and frontline groups.

Individual acts of kindness make a huge impact collectively, and that’s why Giving Tuesday has become a high-profile event: Canadians celebrate the day by raising money for local charities and non-profits, running food and clothing drives, blood Encourage giving and overall kindness.

advertisement

article material

Giving_Tuesday_Grassroots_2
To date, DTES Response has distributed over $500,000 to coordinated projects and frontline groups. Supplied by DTES Feedback

Emily Keller, executive director of the Vancouver-based Environmental Youth Coalition (EYA), says recognizing the difference individuals can make is key to their registered charity, which teaches BIPOC youth a wide range of environmental management and restoration skills.

She explains, “Most of the donations we receive are $50 or less, and this not only enables us to collectively launch new education and management programs each year, it also enables us to receive large amounts of funding from a single source. – which always carries the risk that the source may dry up.”

Keller says that EYA is living proof, individuals can make a huge difference. “In 1989, Vancouver High School student Jeffrey Gibbs founded a series of environmental clubs whose popularity eventually earned David Suzuki the support,” she says. “The clubs evolved into the EYA.”

advertisement

article material

Giving_Tuesday_Grassroots_3
Food Stash ‘rescues’ more than £70,000 every month and redistributes it to members and other charities. Supply by Food Storage, credit Harrison Ha

However, maintaining donor support for any charitable enterprise is an ongoing challenge, and the Food Stash Foundation is one example. Food Stash was created in 2016 by Vancouver school teacher David Schein, who wanted to reduce food waste and feed people together. Today, Food Stash ‘saves’ more than £70,000 of food monthly from participating retailers (who save their unfinished produce and items past their best dates) and redistribute it to members and other charities. .

Carla Pellegrini, executive director of Food Stash, says, “While we have made great strides in fulfilling David’s dream, our 12-member team is constantly brainstorming ways to fundraise, receive grants and generally stay afloat. “

advertisement

article material

Pellegrini, who invites everyone to attend her Fight Food Waste for Giving Tuesday event, added, “We have just completed our year-end budget, and only the revenue we need is available. Only 30 percent have been identified and protected. And it’s quite common for grassroots organizations.”

Giving_Tuesday_Grassroots_4
LDS students reach an average of one and a half grade levels per year on par with their peers. supplied by LDS

Even groups that have been active for more than half a century must continually focus on fundraising, as is the case with the Vancouver-based Learning Disabilities Society (LDS), whose learning gaps with children and young people. As a result of working with LDS students, they are reaching their goals. Equivalent to an average of one-half grade level per year.

Rachel Forbes, executive director of LDS, says, “We are currently trying to expand our programs to grow our donor base, and also because the COVID-19 restrictions have caused economic havoc in so many homes and people. For worthy reasons.” In fact, a recent Vantage Point study shows that 71 percent of B.C. non-profits expect a budget shortfall this year, and five in five One feels that it is likely to be closed within 12 months.

For his part, Burroughs thinks Giving Tuesday will prove that resources may be under pressure, but the desire to give back is stronger than ever. “Countless acts of generosity are happening as Vancouver continues to unite against the threat of public health and emergencies,” she says. “I am confident that November 30 will not only amplify the needs of our communities, but so will the power of our kindness.”

The story was created by Content Works, the commercial content division of Postmedia.

advertisement

Leave a Reply