Wednesday, 9 December 2020

12 ways you can give back to your community this holiday season

 The 12 ways of Christmas: 12 ways you can support animals, wildlife, and children in need

The 12 ways of Christmas: 12 ways you can support animals, wildlife, and children in need

 On the first day of Christmas, my community gave to me a helping hand and a second chance. I've decided to kick the 12 days of Christmas to the curb and replace it with the 12 ways of Christmas. Don't worry, I still included some birds! This year has been a struggle and the community needs your support and generosity. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ontario Government has supported people's financial struggles. But what about support for those who rarely voice their needs: pets, wildlife, nature, and children? Paws For Reaction is a voice for the voiceless, and that's what the 12 ways of Christmas are all about.

If you are struggling with selecting a worthy cause to support or make a donation to this holiday season, I present to you 12 to choose from! These options are very near and dear to my heart. If you can't afford to make a donation that's understandable. You can still give back by sharing one- or more- of these initiatives with your friends, family, and social media to help raise awareness. There may be 12 ways of Christmas listed here, but if you can support one of these causes, then you've spread the most important holiday message: kindness. 

The 12 ways of Christmas: 12 ways you can support animals, wildlife, and children in need

1. Paw it Forward Howliday Auction: All of the donated items the Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre gathered during their Paws To Support Local campaign are featured in this online auction. This online auction takes place from December 1st to December 14th and features items the community purchased from local businesses and donated back to the OSPCA for their auction. All funds raised go directly to helping the animals in their care. To view the items and place your bid CLICK HERE!

2. ​Cailan's Adventures in Support of Wildlife: Cailan is a young girl who lives in the heart of Muskoka. She has been and continues to be an avid fundraiser for Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and has set a personal goal to raise $100,000. In the past, she kayaked to help raise funds for the sanctuary. To learn more about Cailan and make a donation CLICK HERE!

3. Ontario Nature: Ontario Nature is raising funds to protect the Sydenham River Watershed, a biodiversity hotspot in southern Ontario that is home to numerous species at risk. Less than 12% of Sydenham River Watershed forest remains, which threatens many species at risk including the cerulean warbler, eastern wood-pewee, and several endangered turtles. Your donation will be generously matched by Ontario Nature's Board of Directors, up to $5,000! CLICK HERE to donate or find out more. 

12 ways you can give back to your community this holiday season

4. Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre: The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre is fundraising for a new building so they can expand the care they provide to our feathered friends. Your support of their building campaign will help construct a much needed permanent facility on 17+ acres of land, located in a tranquil rural setting of Ottawa's West end. To find out more and make a donation CLICK HERE!

5. Twice Upon a Time: For underprivileged kids who enjoy reading, initiatives like Twice Upon a Time may be the only access they have to books. Children should be encouraged to read and shouldn't have anything preventing their access to literature. Twice Upon a Time provides free books for Ottawa kids. To find out more about donating books CLICK HERE and to learn how you can make a monetary donation CLICK HERE!

6. The Climate Reality Project: As a Climate Reality Project Leader, I have seen first hand the incredible work this organization does to educate the world about the climate crisis. Your contribution will help The Climate Reality Project spread the truth about climate change and the importance of implementing solutions together. Donations better help us educate the public and power a global grassroots network devoted to solving the climate crisis. CLICK HERE to learn more and make a donation.

12 ways you can give back to your community this holiday season

7. Ottawa Paw Pantry: The Ottawa Paw Pantry is a dedicated non-profit pet food resource that was established to help prevent the abandonment or surrender of animals when their families cannot afford to feed them. It's kind of like a Food Bank for pets! They provide temporary food assistance to qualifying pet owners. To learn more and make a donation of food or funds CLICK HERE!

8. Ontario Parks: I love hiking trails and exploring Ontario Parks. Provincial parks are part of the fabric of Ontario; our history, culture, and natural environment. They help to preserve our natural landscapes for future generations. Ontario Parks has trail maintenance, ecological preservation projects, educational programs, and park-specific donation options that allow you to give back in a personal way. To learn more about making a donation CLICK HERE!

9. iAdopt for the Holidays: iAdopt for the Holidays is a pet adoption campaign that runs until December 31st, at participating SPCAs, humane societies, and rescue groups across Canada. Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre, located in Pembroke, Ontario, is working hard to find loving forever homes for as many animals as possible. CLICK HERE to see their pets available for adoption!

12 ways you can give back to your community this holiday season

10. Ottawa River Keeper: I attended an Ottawa River Keeper meeting a few years ago and learned about the history of the Ottawa River- and the importance of protecting it. Ottawa River Keeper is dedicated to ensuring swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water in the Ottawa River watershed. Making a donation is an important way you can help protect, promote, and improve the ecological health and future of the Ottawa River. To learn more and make a donation CLICK HERE!

11. FCS Christmas Program: Last year with my Girl Guides unit I had each Brownie bringing in a donation for the Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County Christmas Gift Program. The Christmas Gift Program helps families across Renfrew County and provides gifts to children who would not otherwise receive a Christmas gift. Gifts of toys, clothes, and even food are welcome, and many families submit a Christmas list to FCS of exactly what their child wants and needs. This year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can also make donations online. CLICK HERE to make an online donation to a child in need.

12. Farley Foundation: For pet owners on Government assistance (ODSP, GIS, Ontario Works) or who meet specific income qualifications, the Farley Foundation can provide funding for veterinary care. Potential candidates apply with the assistance of their existing veterinary clinic. It's important to note that each veterinary clinic is different in terms of the amount of Farley Funding they have access to, as well as how the potential Farley candidates in each clinic are determined. The use of funds is at each clinic's discretion. The Farley Foundation accepts donations to help people help their pets. CLICK HERE to learn more and make a donation.  

Portions of this article have been adapted from the listed organizations' websites for accuracy of information. 

12 ways you can give back to your community this holiday season

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