It has become my custom as the calendar year ends to suggest organisations for folks to consider sharing our abundance/surplus with. These are charities, grassroots organisations and non-profits that directly help others while seeking to change the world. 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 doesn’t—but all could use your financial support.
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
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/
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 evolved 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. 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 Ottawa Funeral Co-op to a basketball court at Atkinson Co-op. More information can be found at:
6. 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
9. 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 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/
10. FoodShare Toronto.
120 Industry Street – Unit C,
Toronto, ON M6M 4L8
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/ .
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 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 2016.