A Secret Santa challenge to one and all

Holiday gift-giving isn’t supposed to induce panic. Let's all scale back, reconnect, celebrate memories and build new traditions

A Secret Santa challenge to one and allThere was a moment, one Christmas morning not too long ago, when we realized we had overdone it. After opening our dozens of gifts, we couldn’t move from our seats around my sister’s living room. It had finally happened. We had too many gifts. It was an embarrassment of riches. As our children mature, they…

On your next trip, bring a bag of goodwill

A grassroots Canadian movement called Not Just Tourists encourages you to take suitcases filled with medical supplies to needy countries

On your next trip, bring a bag of goodwillWhen we think of helping people in impoverished parts of the world, we often think of signing online petitions, making cash donations or volunteering. But bringing about meaningful change can be as simple as carrying an extra suitcase on your next overseas trip. Avi D’Souza has been doing that for about four years, since he…

Charitable giving in Canada hits a 10-year low

At the same time, fewer Canadians are volunteering their time – and it all means that vital charitable groups are struggling

Charitable giving in Canada hits a 10-year lowBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute VANCOUVER, B.C. Dec. 19, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Canadian generosity is on the wane – and that means charities face greater challenges securing resources to help those in need. During the holiday season, many Canadians donate their time and money to their preferred charities. Those who give should be…

We can’t afford to take charities for granted

Many forms of caring and cultural enrichment need lots of dedicated people to be fully realized and charities multiply the common good

We can’t afford to take charities for grantedImagine you're the crew of a ship sailing from Italy to Canada. You arrive in Hamilton, Ont., only to discover that complications related to the sale of your vessel means it's in limbo in the harbour, you with it. Who will look after you? This happened to the crew of the 9,000-ton Italian freighter Ardita in April.…

The real work of Christmas begins after Christmas

The season of giving should remind us how to live the rest of the year

The real work of Christmas begins after ChristmasThe company has gone. The tree flops sadly at the curbside. The decorations are stowed away for another year. As we resume our normal activities, the feel-good generosity and goodwill of Christmas fade. With the Salvation Army kettles out of sight, the needs of others are out of mind. Howard Thurman, an African American whose…

Charitable giving is a group project

Religious settings are very important for charitable giving and generate a huge amount of significant community outreach

Charitable giving is a group projectStatistics Canada's Charitable Giving by Individuals report is an important look at charitable acts in this nation. The notion of charity has long been associated with sacrificing oneself for the sake of others. It is an antidote to selfish absorption, careless distraction and mindless accumulation. It is a response of gratitude; reflecting that however little we have, it can actually grow when shared…

Jean Vanier found humanity in the disabled

His organization, L’Arche, is demonstrates that people of different cultures, religions and abilities can live together in peace

Jean Vanier found humanity in the disabledAt the end of a steep hill in the neighbourhood where I grew up stood a house shrouded in mystery. Adults whispered about a “retarded” child who lived there and who was confined to a room. They argued about whether his parents should put him in a “home”. I was both fascinated and afraid when…
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