The holidays may look a little different this year, though the tenacious generosity of Calgarians continues to shine amongst the difficulties. From non-profit work that shares Calgary-kindness around the globe to local-staples contributing to the holiday spirit in the city, Calgary organizations are finding ways to spread cheer this December.
Here are two local initiatives to consider supporting as part of your holiday season.
Care Beyond Borders
Calgary’s Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) is creating sustainable change on a global scale.
Since 2001, the non-profit organization has provided water and sanitation resources and education around the world in pursuit of creating a future where basic needs are met so people can thrive. By forming long-term partnerships in countries like Afghanistan, Cambodia and Zambia, CAWST focuses on spreading relevant knowledge and skills to local, underserved communities. By putting its vision into action through training and consulting with community members, CAWST can ensure its impact is sustainable for years to come.
In 2019, 194 organizations across 132 countries accessed CAWST services, tapping into the expertise of the Calgary-born global solution.
“With the right know-how, the people we train become more capable of addressing the water and sanitation needs of their families and share what they learn in their community and beyond,” says CAWST campaign manager Alex Laidlaw. “Our hope is that life-saving knowledge that’s easy to act on and understand spreads faster than disease.”
CAWST has also brought its specialized skills to the front lines of the ongoing pandemic through contributions to the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub — a free online service, tailor-made to support individ- uals and organizations in areas where help is needed most. Through established global partnerships, the initiative leveraged custom hygiene programs and knowledge to influence handwashing in under- served communities in response to COVID-19.
In all facets of its crucial work, CAWST offers Calgarians the chance to think globally by giving locally this holiday season. Donations help create long-term change through an organization that shares Calgary- kindness wherever it operates.
“A gift of water is life-changing, making a lasting difference,” says Laidlaw. “By investing in building skills to safely manage water, donors can empower people with the tools to improve health and well-being in communities around the world.”
Visit giftofwater.ca or contact directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-243-3285 to support CAWST. Over the holiday season, all donations will be matched through the O’Brien-Cumming Match program.
Spreading Local Love
For the past several Decembers, Avenue Calgary has decorated one of the 150 Christmas trees on display at The CORE Shopping Centre for The Magic of Christmas, a local charity that then delivers those trees— along with presents and other holiday necessities— to Calgarians in need. Aligning with Avenue’s love of giving back to Calgary, supporting local businesses and celebrating the city, the tree-decorating initiative has become a tradition for the team behind the magazine.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is on hiatus for 2020, though Avenue and The CORE have found a way to continue giving back.
Avenue is donating $5 from all subscriptions purchased for one year or more until December 24 to The Magic of Christmas – a total which The CORE will be matching up to 50 subscriptions. The CORE will also be accepting donations to the charity’s wish list at the Heritage Park pop-up in the shopping centre.
“We know that this year is going to be so hard for so many Calgary families,” says Allison Onyett, marketing director with The CORE. “We are still committed to providing that magical holiday experience and supporting our local partners that make our city sparkle, especially during the holidays.”
Funds donated to The Magic of Christmas will help ensure the organization’s annual Christmas Eve deliveries can once again brighten hundreds of family’s holidays in 2020. Using donated Calgary Transit buses, thousands of volunteers dressed as Santa and his elves will deliver gifts to families going through emotional, physical or financial issues this year, while also making visits to hospitals, care homes and other institutions.
“When our partners like the folks at The CORE and Avenue say, ‘This is something we’re offering to do — we think this might help you,’ it’s amazing,” says The Magic of Christmas president for 2020, Scott Perley. “It just warms our hearts because other people are [helping to support] what the Magic is able to then do.”
Subscriptions to Avenue Magazine can be purchased online at redpoint-media.com, supporting independent local media as well as The Magic of Christmas this holiday season. To learn more about The Magic of Christmas, visit themagicofchristmas.org.
This content was produced in partnership with the advertiser by RedPoint Media for commercial purposes.