It's hard to believe December is already here. The colourful twinkly lights are up, eggnog is in the store, and seasonal tunes abound. Unfortunately not everyone has the means nor opportunities to enjoy the holiday spirit we see around us. It can be a difficult time for many as they may be experiencing stress, isolation, poverty, and violence. In thinking about what we could do this year to help others, we've opted to help support the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund which supports the recipients listed below. 10% of our product sales for the month of December will go towards the Fund. Even if you live elsewhere and not in Calgary where these organisations are located, know that you are still making a difference in someone's life. Thank you for your support.
Dementia has become one of the most significant social and health crises of the 21st century. The Alzheimer Society of Calgary works to ensure local people impacted by dementia have access to high-quality education, support and care throughout their journey of impact. The Herald Christmas Fund proceeds will be used to deliver education to caregivers.
Providing emergency and shelter support services, including a 24-hour crisis line and emergency transportation, for families experiencing family violence. Programs and services are framed within the Indigenous culture, and are trauma-informed for healing and wellness.
CCIS’ Centre for Refugee Resilience is a new initiative created to ensure that immigrant and refugee individuals and families access mental health support, build their resilience, and reach their full potential in Canada. The Centre for Refugee Resilience is an extension of the society’s Survivors of Torture and Trauma program and its Ethos Youth and Family Project.
Working in collaboration with legal and law enforcement partners, the society works with non-violent drug-addicted offenders facing time in jail for crimes driven by addiction. The Christmas Fund proceeds will support participants in the program, including treatment and case management services, assistance with employment and housing, drug-testing and drug test kits, and program materials.
The shelter’s Child and Adolescent Services program provides immediate refuge from family violence and abuse, counselling support for children, and preventive programming to teach youth healthy relationship behaviours. The Christmas Fund money will fund a new program — Integrated Children’s Wellness Project.
Centre for Suicide Prevention works directly to reduce suicide in the community. It has a program focused on suicide prevention efforts in the workplace, designed to help men access the help they need and be able to talk to and direct a friend to help. This program also specifically assists with stigma reduction and engagement with workplaces.
This agency works to build stability for vulnerable children, youth and families experiencing critical social issues such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, mental illness, financial insecurity, domestic violence and trauma. Their focus for the Christmas Fund proceeds is early intervention for youth dealing with mental health problems.
Working with communities to help people learn to feed themselves in an economical, nutritious and sustainable manner. The “Spinz-A-Round Program” provides emergency food for vulnerable populations experiencing challenges or in a crisis. It rescues food from local merchants that may have otherwise been discarded and distributes to participating agencies.
Distress Centre is Calgary’s only 24-hour crisis service. It offers 24-hour support via a crisis line and 211 information line (in 200 languages) and via email. It offers daily chat and text support for youth, as well as free, no-wait professional counselling to individuals, couples and families in crisis.
Oxford House is a recovery centre designed to address the needs of adult men and women who need a sober living environment to continue their recovery from addiction. It provides the time, peer support, and structured living environment necessary for long-term behaviour change to take hold.
Started in 1910, and run by volunteers, this agency provides emergency food and transportation vouchers, infant formula, medication and medical supplies within 24 hours of a call for help through a referral by a health-care professional or social worker.
Programs support youth towards realizing leadership potential and building resiliency. This agency is a collective that recycles and repurposes bicycles, promotes environmental education, inspires active living. Its Earn-a-Bike program uses the bicycle as a tool to build social, emotional and life skills in youth ages 11-17.