It has been a while since I’ve posted on More Coherent. I started a few pieces, but didn’t conclude them. However, as it is my custom as the calendar year ends to suggest organisations for folks to consider sharing our abundance/surplus with, I am back on my blog and posting my 2017 list. These are charities, grassroots organisations and non-profits that directly help others while seeking to change the world. There is also one arts organisation. Most of the organisations have a link on their website to make donations on line, but all welcome donations through the mail. Several of these I’ve been on the board of; others are ones who do unique work that I support. Not all the groups I suggest supporting can give charitable receipts—OCAP and the Workers Action Centre, as examples, don’t—but all could use your financial support. Many will seem familiar from previous years but there are a few new ones I hope people consider supporting.
1. St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society
Box 801, 138 Pears Ave,
Toronto, ON M5R 1T2.
St. Clare’s combines developing affordable housing while providing safe and secure homes for people, most of whom come through 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 many creative protests during the Harris years. More info can be found at: http://www.stclares.ca
2. Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation (CAIF),
CSI Regent Park,
585 Dundas St East, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7.
CAIF evolved from the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative (CAIC), which has been doing social investing on behalf of Canadian charities but is in the process of winding down. CAIF is a charitable foundation provides 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/
c/o 132 Cedric Avenue,
Toronto, ON M6C 3X8
From a community gardens to education on the relationship between spirituality and ecology to a Community Shared Agriculture initiative, this is a great and wonderful addition to the world of food security in the GTA. For more information, check out: http://shoresh.ca/about-shoresh/introducing/
4. 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/
5. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
157 Carlton Street, Unit 206,
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 me, OCAP remains the most important anti-poverty organisation in the GTA. For more information http://www.ocap.ca/
3 Jersey Avenue
Toronto, ON M6G 3A2
I’m not directly involved in the arts these days, but I do serve on the board of a very wonderful puppet troop. This small group does everything from workshops to touring productions. For more information, see: http://puppetmongers.com/
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 410
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8
This is a great organisation with a long history. It describes itself as “a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to protecting Ontario’s wilderness, wildlife and watersheds through research, education and action.” For more information see http://www.earthroots.org
8. Peace Brigades Canada.
211 Bronson Ave, Suite 220,
Ottawa, ON K1R 6H5
Peace Brigades Canada is a part of a global network of activists who work with human rights campaigners in places of violent 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/
9. Groundswell Fund 226 Bathurst St., Suite 200 Toronto, ON M5T 2P9
The Groundswell Community Justice Trust Fund gives small, but vital, grants to radical, grassroots projects across Ontario. Their grants really make a difference. For more information see https://groundswellfund.ca
10. Workers Action Centre 720 Spadina Ave., Suite 223 Toronto, ON M5S 2T9
Workers Action Centre works with and on behalf of marginalized workers in Toronto. From campaigners to change labour laws to helping workers get unpaid wages, these folks take on serious issues for those that often fall through the cracks. For more information check out: http://workersactioncentre.org/about/
The above is not an exhaustive list. I donate monthly to Interval House and the Wilderness Society. In the past many organisations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society and FoodShare 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 2017.