Photo courtesy of Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

7 B.C. Charities and Nonprofits That Need Support Year Round

At a time of year when holiday excitement has subsided and post-holiday credit card bills have arrived, donations to charities and nonprofits usually dry up. These organizations help people and animals in need, and they could use your support right now.

Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program

Photo by Josh McGarel.

The Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program builds trails in British Columbia that are used for much more than just mountain biking, from walking, hiking, and snowshoeing to teaching Indigenous language and culture—and instilling some community pride along the way. This nonprofit organization uses financial donations to help with its work of building trails and teaching Indigenous youth how to ride, maintain, and repair mountain bikes. A few months ago we spoke to Tom Eustache, a member of the Simpcw First Nation who sits on the program’s board, about the 15 years he’s spent building and maintaining a network of runs and paths.

Rise Women’s Legal Centre

The 25 staff at Rise Women’s Legal Centre provide pro-bono legal services, mainly in the field of family law, to women and gender-diverse people at community clinics in Metro Vancouver and via virtual clinics for the rest of the province. Many clients face economic challenges, belong to marginalized groups, and seek protection from family violence—rural and remote communities in particular see elevated rates of violence and substance abuse coupled with a lack of free legal services. The centre also runs a student legal clinic, which gives real-world experience to upper-year law students from UBC’s Peter Allard Law School, and has a research program that focuses on exploring the intersection between family law and family violence in British Columbia. Financial donations are used primarily to fund staff salaries. The centre is always seeking volunteer services from lawyers, especially those who practise family law, and it encourages all lawyers to accept legal-aid files occasionally, to assist clients in often dire circumstances.

Rainbow Foundation of Hope

The Rainbow Foundation of Hope is a volunteer-run charity that helps LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers as they flee to Canada, escaping persecution in their home countries because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Donations fund counselling services, emergency flights, education scholarships, and more. The foundation needs volunteers to help with tasks such as graphic design, video editing, and social media engagement.

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre provides an array of services for people who self-identify as women and live or work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, everything from safe washroom facilities and housing support to specific programs for Indigenous women and Chinese seniors. The centre also serves around 1,000 meals every day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon snacks. Financial donations are welcome, along with items such as seasonally appropriate clothing and footwear. Volunteer opportunities include teaching English, hosting karaoke nights, and styling hair and applying makeup on beauty nights.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals works to protect and enhance the lives of all animals throughout the province by investigating reports of animal cruelty, advocating for more humane laws regarding animals, and helping people adopt pets such as cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds. Financial donations are always welcome, and some branches of the BC SPCA also accept gifts of linens, toys, and unopened pet food and cat litter for community food banks. Pet-lovers can choose from a wealth of volunteer opportunities: walking dogs, socializing cats, cleaning kennels, fostering animals, assisting with fundraising events, and more.

Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Photo by Alana Paterson.

Intended to be a temporary measure when it was established in 1983, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank is, unfortunately, used more than ever today. Food-insecure people and families visited more than a quarter of a million times in 2023, leaving with an assortment of healthy food—around 60 per cent of which is fresh produce, dairy, and meat. The charity accepts financial donations from individuals, along with food donations from industry partners such as retailers, wholesalers, and farmers. Both individuals and groups can volunteer to help with distributing food, assembling orders in the warehouse, and promoting the food bank at seasonal events.

Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia

Photo by Paul Steeves.

Each year, the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia cares for around 6,000 injured, orphaned, or pollution-damaged animals, making it Canada’s busiest wildlife rehabilitation centre. The centre also answers more than 32,000 helpline calls from the public annually. Financial donations are always appreciated, and volunteer opportunities include preparing food for the animals, cleaning enclosures, doing office administration, and gardening.

Read more stories of people making an impact.


Post Date:

February 7, 2024