Christmas is on its way, and it’ll be here sooner than you know it. What do you get for the person who has everything? What kind of gift can have a positive impact in the receiver’s life and the lives of others? What gift can you give that isn’t just stuff?
If you’re stressing out about presents for family members, friends or the colleague you got for Secret Santa at work, you can make it simple by giving the gift of charity and making a donation on behalf of someone in your life.
There are so many great organizations that work hard to make the world a better place. The following are just a few that focus on Indigenous issues—such as supporting Two Spirit people and improving health. You can find them all, and make a quick and easy donation, at www.canadahelps.org.
First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society focuses on the safety and well-being of First Nations children. The organization uses a reconciliation framework to tackle difficulties First Nations kids, youth and their families face and runs a number of campaigns and educational initiatives. To find out more about the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society visit www.fncaringsociety.com.
National Aboriginal Diabetes Association
The National Aboriginal Diabetes Association is a non-profit based in Winnipeg that works to promote healthy living and prevent and/or manage diabetes among Indigenous people. One of the organization’s programs, Hope Air, arranges free flights for people needing medical support for diabetes and related complications. Visit www.nada.ca to learn more about the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association.
2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations
This non-profit social service organization was founded in response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and has been working on HIV/AIDS education and prevention strategies within Aboriginal communities since then. Today, the 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations serves any Indigenous person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and Two Spirit and fosters a positive image within the community. Learn more at www.2spirits.com.
Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth
The Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth is non-profit in Calgary that provides programming and services to empower youth between the ages of 12 and 29. The organization’s current programming includes the Aboriginal Anti-Racism Movement, which works to change attitudes around racism and discrimination, and online Blackfoot language courses. Check out www.usay.ca.
Indspire is an Indigenous-led charity that provides the tools Aboriginal people, particularly youth, need to achieve their educational potential. Indspire serves First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada and, with financial support from various partners, administers programs and financial awards. Every year the organization presents the Indspire Awards, which celebrates Aboriginal achievements across the country. Learn more by visiting www.indspire.ca.
There are plenty of other charitable organizations out there! If none of these feel right to you, look close to home or even to your local Friendship Centre—most of them are registered charities. And if you don’t celebrate any of the holidays this time of the year, keep these organizations in mind for birthdays or other special occasions.