As a young leader, philanthropy is a huge part of both growing personally and developing professionally. Not only does philanthropy provide the opportunity to help others in need, but it helps to bring empathy and perspective taking to the foreground. If you are interested in volunteering in some charitable organizations this year, but don’t know which organization you’d like to get involved with, here are some charities that are doing excellent work in various capacities all over Canada. Whether you get involved in these charities through chapters in your community, through your school, or as an independent project, take a look at our list of “Five Awesome Charities to get Involved With this Year” and see which cause sparks a passion in you!
Canadian Cancer Society
The Mission: To eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer
Why they stand out: With an abundance of ways to get involved and volunteer depending on your own interests, hobbies, skills, and availability, The Canadian Cancer Society allows volunteers to engage in ways that are beneficial to the organization, but that also promote collaboration and engagement with fellow participants.
How to get involved: You can donate directly to the Canadian Cancer Society itself, host your own fundraiser, or volunteer for one their large events like CIBC run for the cure, or Relay for Life. Not only are these large events lots of fun, but they bring in some of the largest donations for the organizatio
The mission: Operation Smile is an international medical charity that has provided (and continues to) provide hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities.
Why they stand out: Operation Smile is one of the oldest and largest volunteer-based organizations dedicated to improving the health and lives of children worldwide through access to surgical care. If you are passionate about helping children in developing countries with important medical needs, this is the charity to join.
How to get involved: become a medical volunteer and help overseas, create a fundraising campaign, create care packages or help gather supplies
Right to Play
The Mission: Right to Play uses the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities
Why they stand out: Not only does RTP give children the power of play, they teach important lessons through play (such as safety, health, and avoiding conflict)
How to get involved: volunteer through a local chapter, become a play coach, bring RTP to your school (or old elementary school), or create your own fundraiser.
Diabetes Association (Diabetes Canada)
The mission: to build awareness of the diabetes and its implications, which are often misunderstood.
Why they stand out: Because the epidemic is growing so rapidly, diabetes affects more than 10 million Canadians. It is important to create awareness and also help fund research. This is a great charity to get involved with if your passion lies in health and wellness.
How to get involved: Join “Team Diabetes” and keep up-to-date on all their international events, like runs, cycles, and hikes. If physical activity isn’t your favourite way to show support, you can always support a participant or donate directly to the organization
Girls on the Run
The mission: To create a nurturing, self-esteem boosting environment for young women through coaching and physical fitness
Why they stand out: This charity hits young women where it hurts: their physical and mental health. By promoting positivity through physical fitness and inner strength, girls from grades 3-8 can feel good about achieving fitness goals and collaborating with other girls. If you feel passionate about self-esteem, well-being, and female empowerment, this is the organization for you!
How to get involved: volunteer to be a role model for the young women, sign up to be a coach, or be a running buddy and inspire young women at any school in your area.
While there are many many many more charities in your area to get involved and volunteer with, these few charities are a great place to start your search and ignite your passion. If you’re still looking for some other organizations to get involved with, make sure you check out your school’s clubs and council fairs or any community centre in your area. You can always get involved in another charity…particularly one close to home. In fact, I know a charity that is always looking for more volunteers. You can read about it here (http://phoenixleadershipproject.com/)
We can’t wait to see how and where you get involved! Keep us posted…we love to hear from you!