Top 5 Local Charities We're Thankful For
We're so lucky to live in a city that offers a wide variety of services to families in need. With Thanksgiving coming up, we wanted to share our Top 5 favourite local charities that strive to make life in Hamilton the best it can be for children and families. Read below to find out how they may be able to help your family and how you can help them in return.
Wesley Urban Ministries
52 Catharine Street North, Hamilton
Wesley Urban Ministries is an essential part of our Hamilton community, helping to break down barriers and providing essential tools to help those in need to better themselves and their families. They have over 30 different programs in 19 locations around the city focused on Children, Youth & Family Services, Housing & Homeless Services, and Neighbourhood & Newcomer Services. Their main goal is to help people work towards education, employment, and independence.
Their services for children and families include reading, cooking, and after school programs, homework help, pregnancy and parenting support, as well as recreation and early learning programs. Wesley programming includes the Beasley Community Centre, 8 Ontario Early Years locations, the Community Access To Child Health Program, a family home visit program, as well as summer camps, daycares, drop in centres and more.
How you can help: If you’re interested in donating money to Wesley there are a number of ways to do so whether it’s a one time donation (say, in memory of a loved one), or a regular quarterly or monthly donation. They accept cash, cheque, Visa, and Mastercard. You can also volunteer with Wesley whether as a group or an individual. Some of the jobs available to volunteers currently are things such as office work like filing and answering phones, assisting with kids programs by helping with clean up, snack prep, etc, as well helping with a myriad of fundraising and special events. For more detailed information on donating or volunteering please visit their website.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Hamilton
1510 Main St. W., Hamilton
905-521-9983, Ext. 2200
We’re incredibly fortunate to have McMaster Children’s Hospital in the heart of our city, but we’re even more fortunate to have Ronald McDonald house right next door. A home away from home for families with a child in hospital, this local branch of the well known charity provides support for families at a very stressful and scary time. Whether it’s for the family of a child fighting cancer or parents of a premature baby, they provide a comfortable living space close to the hospital at the cost of only $12 a night. They also provide a space within the hospital for parents who can’t leave the building that provides access to computers, a kitchen, and laundry facilities. Something we didn’t know, but discovered through our research, is that 80% of the funding comes from local initiatives, meaning donations from the community are essential.
How you can help: There are lots of ways to help out through donations and volunteering, but here are their top 10 ways listed on the website:
Adopt a family through the Meals That Heal program
Attend their annual golf tournament in September
Host a fundraiser such as a lemonade stand, garage sale, or dance
Make a tribute donation in honour of a loved one
Donate items for the house including food and toiletries
Donate gift cards for families to use during their stay (for grocery stores, restaurants, etc)
Become a volunteer at the house
Share your story about staying at the house
Spread the word to your local community about what the house does and how they can help
Contact the house and find out what they are in need of at the moment
For more information please visit the website.
Neighbour to Neighbour Hamilton
28 Athens St, Hamilton
Neighbour to Neighbour is a non-profit organization that aids in alleviating hunger and poverty on the Hamilton Mountain and area. It offers a food bank, a community food centre providing education on cooking and nutrition, a community garden, counselling, parenting tutoring, and a bookstore. The Neighbour to Neighbour Food Bank provides emergency food relief to over 1,100 families on the Hamilton Mountain each month.
How You Can help: You can support N2N by donating money, non perishable food items, toiletries, and books, but you can also donate your Shoppers Optimum points and Pioneer Bonus Bucks. You can also help with the community garden program by donating garden tools, plants, seeds, cedar lumber for raised beds, or by offering land for community/victory gardens. There are many volunteer opportunities for adults and students including helping with money raising events such as gala dinners, golf tournaments, and the coldest night of the year walk fundraiser which has raised over 4.9 million since 2011.
407 Whitney Avenue
There are 1,200 children in the Hamilton area that go without food or have limited access to food on the weekends. Food4Kids provides healthy food packages for these children, aged 5-14. The packages are prepared by volunteers and delivered to schools in the Hamilton area to ensure that children will be fed over the weekend. They also have food programs over the summer months. The best part about the program is that the items are delivered and handed out discretely in back packs, ensuring that the children receiving help don't feel stigmatized.
How You Can help: You can donate funds in multiple ways; $10 feeds a child for a week, $40 feeds a child for 1 month, and $400 feeds a child for an entire school year. You can also donate healthy food options to the cause, but there is a specific list so please visit the website to see what they are in need of first. There are volunteer positions available for drivers, committee members and food drive coordinators. You can also also attend and get involved with any number of fundraising events. Check the website for my details.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton
8 Locations within the Hamilton Area
Visit http://www.kboysandgirlsclub.com/ for contact information.
The Boys and Girls Club provides a safe place for children to have new experiences, build confidence and new relationships. Their core values include: Inclusion and opportunity, respect and belonging, empowerment, collaboration, and speaking out. The program offers an early years centre, aquatics programs and various drop in programs including their popular Tuesday program Tumbling Tots at the Ellis Ave location. They also offer financial assistance to ensure kids can participate in extracurricular activities throughout the city.
How You Can Help: You can help support the Boy and Girls club through their special events. The two that are coming up are the Splashing Pumpkins Festival and the Race for Kids. See website for all the details. You can also donate money to their programs online via Canada Helps; the link is on their website homepage.