As Advent in 2012 progresses and the year comes to a beginning and an end, we may find the desire both to do good in the world and find some funds available to help in this work. Here are a few suggestions of groups which I have supported over the years that would certainly put your gifts to good use.
1. St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society . Suite C – 180 Sudbury Street , Toronto, Ontario M6J 0A8.
St. Clare’s is continues to both develop new affordable housing efforts and provide affordable housing to people, most of whom come as a result of referrals from agencies working directly with the homeless, marginalized and difficult to house. St. Clare’s grew out of Toronto Action for Social Change, which organised a number of creative protests during the Harris years. More information can be found at: http://stclares.ca/
2. FoodShare Toronto. 90 Croatia Street, Toronto, ON M6H 1K9. Attention: Adrienne De Francesco.
From the good food box programme to community gardening to advocating for sustainable food policies, FoodShare works hard to make sure that social justice includes what is on the table. More information can be found at: http://www.foodshare.net/
3. Rooftops Canada. 720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 313, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2T9
Rooftops Canada, the international development arm of Canadian co-operative and non-profit housing movements, works with overseas partners in countries from the Baltic Sea to Zimbabwe to “improve housing conditions, build sustainable communities and develop a shared vision of equitable global development. “ Rooftops initiatives range from capacity building to microfinance. More information can be found at: http://www.rooftops.ca/
4. Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation (CAIF),
CSI Regent Park,
585 Dundas St East, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7.
CAIF has developed from the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative (CAIC), which does social investing on behalf of Canadian charities. CAIF is a charitable foundation which will be providing grants and loans to charitable organisations involved in community initiatives that further the vision of CAIC’s founders. More information can be found at http://www.caifoundation.ca/
5. Elizabeth Fry Society . 215 Wellesley Street E. , Toronto ON M4X 1G1
The Elizabeth Fry Society provides effective support for women involved with the criminal justice system. From transitional housing to jail support, E Fry makes a difference in the lives of women in conflict with the law. More information can be found at: http://www.efrytoronto.org/n/
6. CHFT Charitable Fund, 658 Danforth Avenue, Suite 306, Toronto, ON, M4J 5B9
The CHFT Charitable Fund is a project of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto. Its programmes have ranged from diversity scholarships to support for the Green Roof initiative at Hugh Garner Housing Co-operative to a basketball court at Atkinson Co-op. More information can be found at: http://www.coophousing.com/charitable/charitable_mission.asp
Over the years I have also supported the following organisations that are more activist than charitable in focus. These include:
In the USA:
CPT, PO Box 6508; Chicago IL 60680-6508
CPT, 25 Cecil Street, Unit 310; Toronto, ON M5T 1N1
CPT sends delegations to places of conflict to be a practical resource for non-violence and a witness to the world of violence and injustice. From Columbia to Iraq to first nations in Canada, CPT delegations have been a hopeful presence in many places around the world. For more information see http://www.cpt.org/
8. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. 157 Carlton Street, Unit 206, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2K3
From direct action casework to solidarity with imprisoned refugee claimants to walking picket lines, OCAP activists are a strong voice for economic and social justice. For more information http://www.ocap.ca/
9. Wilderness Committee. P.O. Box 2205, Station Terminal, Vancouver, BC V6B 3W2
The Wilderness Committee is a mainstream but persistent voice for wilderness and endangered species. In addition to political campaigns, they are a good source of fair trade goods not found elsewhere. For more information see http://wildernesscommittee.org/home
10. Peace Brigades Canada. 145 Spruce Street, Suite 206, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P1
Peace Brigades Canada is a part of a global network of activists who work with human rights activists in places of conflict. From Nepal to Mexico, Peace Brigades volunteers have accompanied human rights workers as the eyes of the world. For more information see http://www.pbicanada.org/
The above is not an exhaustive list. I donate monthly to the Student Christian Movement of Canada and the Christian Resource Centre. I support the work of Homes Not Bombs. In the past many organisations including The Canadian Friends Service Committee and Amnesty International had me among their regular donors. However, I think my top 10 represent a range of places, from social investing to radical peacemaking, that are my priorities at the end of 2012.