This time of year we are all bombarded with adds about being charitable at Christmas and helping out our fellow man. The radio also pounds out that Paul McCartney song that makes us all feel guilty (you know the one). I thought I'd take this opportunity to write a little bit about causes that I believe in; some of them are free, some of them cost time others just cost donations but all of them make you feel good.
Locally in Montreal we have quite a few organizations that help cater to the less fortunate all year round:
There is the long established Sun Youth which we strongly supported through my old employer, they help provide everything from food banks, to rec centers to shelters for battered women.
Dans la Rue is one of my favorite charitable organizations ever, Montreal being a large urban center we attract a lot of disenfranchised youth that ends up living on the streets. Dans la Rue provides them with an education and career training center, shelter and every night they drive around the city in a few RVs distributing food, blankets, medical services and condoms to street workers. I have donated time and money to this organization and have loved every minute spent with these street kids.
Food Banks Canada is another central hub for donation and volunteering campaigns throughout the country worth checking out.
Short of having money or time to donate? Donate your time online, from your lunch hour at work to a few minutes from home... Pick a cause, any cause. If you want to get involved with Human Rights, find a blog that talks about it and start commenting, start your own website and talk about it. With blogging software it takes about 2 minutes. All of us have a need for some sort of activism or some void to fill because we feel we aren't doing enough. Well this is your chance, do something now. Even if it's just writing about it. Who knows maybe you can inspire people.
It's that time of year people, families are hungry, homeless people are cold, Zimbabwe is dying of cholera, Hoder is in jail, Cuba is still under the thumb of the Castros, the Dalai Lama is still in exile, Burmese monks are still going to jail for no reason and children are going to school without breakfast. What will you do about it?
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, irie kwanzaa!