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Holiday giving: make an impact this holiday season without spending a cent

December 05, 2020By

This holiday season don’t think about what you can’t give, think about what you can give

The holidays are going to feel weird in more ways than one. No extended family around the dinner table. None of the usual public light displays for big groups. And definitely no kissing (strangers) under the mistletoe. One group that is needing to reassess its holiday reality in these challenging times is nonprofits; in Canada, donations are expected to go down by about 37 per cent this year.

This has me thinking about what we can give, instead of what we can’t. Yes, financial donations are generally most appreciated by nonprofits, but they also understand that people have lost their jobs and are scaling back on their expenses this year. Despite economic hardships, however, we still have our expertise and time to give. We all have something different to contribute, and when a community comes together we can fill in the gaps.

No money? give time

Not everyone can give money and that’s ok. That’s where volunteers step in. People who give their time to share their expertise or lend a hand. With December 5 being International Volunteer Day, we want to thank volunteers for their actions and efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. It is an exceptional time during which organizations have had to pivot in the way they solicit and receive donations, and administer their programs.

Traction for Good encourages this through our Time for Good program, which gives Tractionites two paid days per year to volunteer. With the ongoing pandemic, we recognize this is going to look different this year so we’re encouraging our team to volunteer virtually and in-person only if they feel safe doing so.

We’re doubling our efforts in December

Having just finished our 2020 Bandit Tour for Good, working alongside 52 Bandits who gave over 2,400 pro-bono hours to nonprofits across the globe, it’s hard to think of anything that can really top this feeling of community. When I think back to the words our Bandits used to describe this year's tour—inspiring, resilient, contagious, grateful, fulfilling, difference—it's this passion and dedication I hope to see out in the wider community as well.

We kicked off our holiday giving season at Traction on Demand with GivingTuesday. GivingTuesday was created to push back against the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a movement dedicated to giving back to our communities—whether that’s our time, talent or treasure (donations).

According to the CanadaHelps Giving Report 2020, GivingTuesday is the most important giving day of the year, outside of the final days of the calendar year. Beyond this single day, over 30% of annual charitable donations generally occur in December alone. But since this December is going to be a different one, it’s especially important that Traction for Good (T4G) will be matching up to $200 per Tractionite who gives to a cause they care about. Each year, we see our collective giving continue to grow (in December 2019, Traction on Demand donated a whopping $47,000 to 110 organizations!). In just three days, our collective holiday gift this year has already surpassed $16,000.

This season I’m thinking about food security

This year, our turkey may come to our door inside an insulated bag but even so, we can consider ourselves lucky. If you’re thinking about how you can give back this holiday season, I encourage you to give the gift of food. One in seven Canadians is food insecure and that number is rapidly on the rise. Some of the organizations we’ve partnered with in the past are:

A Better Life Foundation
I think their campaign “Being Hungry Sucks” says it all. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like. With food security as a focus, all monetary donations this holiday season will go towards food waste recovery and expansion of their meal program. A Better Life Foundation is aiming to reach its goal of raising $250,000 in December. You can make a gift here.

Backpack Buddies
Did you know 20% of children in British Columbia live below the poverty line? Backpack Buddies’ mission is to tackle the hidden crisis of child hunger. A gift of $15 provides nine meals (including fresh fruit and snacks) so a child has enough to eat over the weekend. Make a gift today.

If time is what you have to give, check out powered by United Way of the Lower Mainland. This volunteer portal, covering Vancouver and surrounding areas, shares opportunities to support communities both virtually and in-person.

Are there other holiday giving or volunteer opportunities we should know about? Don’t ever hesitate to reach out.

Traction for Good

As Traction on Demand's community engagement program, Traction For Good's purpose is to strengthen the connection between people, causes and communities. Get in touch to get involved!

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