If you’re looking to support a local non-profit on this Giving Tuesday, or throughout the year, here are 8 wonderful organizations close to our heart that do so much to support community members in need of help.
Familiarizing yourself with the work they do will provide a better understanding of how needs are met in our city, and learning about the various services they offer is also important should you or someone you know ever need their support in a moment of crisis.
Since 1982, the Red Door Family Shelter has provided emergency shelter and support for women and children affected by domestic abuse, families experiencing a housing crisis, and refugee claimants with nowhere else to turn. Red Door has grown to become one of the largest family shelters in the city, providing shelter and support to over 350 families every year. Sadly, over 2/3 of Red Door residents, on any given day, are children. Find out more here.
The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic offers legal, counselling and interpretation services to marginalized and racialized populations of women who have survived violence. The Schlifer Clinic provides free legal and counseling services to women who have experienced violence and abuse. Expertise includes criminal law, family law, immigration & refugee law, and more.
The Stop Community Food Centre provides emergency food access services. The Stop Food Bank provides a three-day supply of food, once per month, to individuals and families in their catchment area, and they also offer a drop-in space where anyone, regardless of where they live, can enjoy nutritious food, meet others, and access information on social issues and community resources. The Stop also offers workshops on tenants’ and employment rights, movie screenings and arts & crafts, and demonstrations on how to make low-cost, healthy, and delicious meals. They believe that everyone should have access to fresh food, and we believe that too.
We wholeheartedly believe in the power of the arts, and how much of an impact they can have on self-expression, self-esteem, and more. Sistema Toronto is a free after-school music and social development program for children living in underserved communities with the end goal of transformative social change. Their students learn together for 10 hours each week where they play in orchestras, sing in choirs, and beat drums in drum ensembles. Curious to learn more?
Harm reduction saves lives. Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction supports Indigenous members of the community by reducing harm around stigmatized experiences such as substance use, displacement, and other survival strategies resulting from racism and colonization. They provide access to ceremony, traditional food and medicines, essential survival items, transportation, communication networks, and access to healthcare. Meet the founders and learn more about the vital work they do.
West Neighbourhood is an invaluable service for Toronto’s downtown west-end community. They serve over 15,000 people a year, addressing issues including: homelessness and housing affordability; un- and under-employment; poverty; inequities, racism and oppression; literacy; aging; mental and physical health; immigration and settlement; violence; isolation; and financial exclusion. West NH offers a broad range of community-based social service programs for people of all ages, supporting families and individuals to address personal problems, and/or create opportunities for personal growth. From early childhood programs that support kids and caregivers to helping unhoused neighbours, and programs specifically designed for seniors… They do so much! Learn about their wide-range of services here.
Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women and trans people in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed. Sistering offers a 24/7 pet-friendly drop-in that includes access to hot meals, showers and laundry facilities, clothing and footwear, access to phones, internet and mailing address, harm reduction support and supplies, peer support groups (in a variety of languages), on-site access to primary healthcare and more. They are always in need of support.
Fort York Food Bank is another downtown food program that provides low-income individuals and families with a three-day supply of groceries and hot meals on multiple days every week. With food costs rising exponentially, the need for FYFB is growing. Find out more here, including their grocery days and hours of operation.
If you aren’t able to donate money, most of these organizations also outline items that are urgently needed. There’s always a way we can help others in our community.