Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Favourite Charities

One of my friends from university once told me that she almost never donates to "people" charities, simply because they seemingly get the most attention and there will always be someone else willing to donate to them anyway.

Animal-based charities, on the other hand, usually receive less funding overall -- or so she reasoned -- which is why that was where most of her money went.

Regardless of a person's rationale for giving, it seems that most people are set in their ways and already have a select few charities to which they only donate.

And while I know that there are so many worthy causes in need, it really is difficult to give to everyone who asks..... so I guess I've got to choose my favourites, too.

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Friday's Top Five - Favourite Charities:

5) World Wildlife Fund Canada


Traditionally, this is the animal-based charity that we tend to donate to most regularly.

Every Christmas I gleefully anticipate the arrival of the calendar they send us in the mail, as well as the various sets of notepads, stickers, address labels, and Christmas cards that have become a part of their arsenal.

I'm not sure what portion of their donated funds goes into producing and distributing these freebies that they send to people, but I imagine the charity must be doing fairly well given it's high profile.


4) Poppy Fund


It's that time of year again -- as soon as Halloween's over, citizens across Canada don a lapel pin known as the poppy. And although we always have a few of these lying around from previous years, we of course still donate again and get a new one.

This is one of the earliest charities I remember donating to as a kid, when our school teachers would walk around the classroom with a donation box for us to toss in our coins.

And this is also one of the more common charities that gets ripped off each year when some lowlife swipes a donation box at the mall or somewhere. Deplorable.


3) Food Bank


This is another charity that, although you can (and should) donate year-round, one of it's busiest times of year is during the Christmas season.

I genuinely look forward to driving down Candy Cane Lane each winter and making the mad rush out of the car to drop a bag or two of items into one of the bins lining the road.

And, let's be honest, it's easy to find some decent items in every home that can be donated to this cause. Chances are you won't even miss them when they're gone, so there are no excuses not to donate.

It's a Christmas tradition, yo.


2) Children's Miracle Network


This charity certainly has evolved over the years, but my fondest memories of it come from when I was a kid growing up.

Back in those days of fundraising, local TV and news celebrities would pre-empt regular television programming to host an all-night telethon that went on for nearly 24 hours.

They featured local entertainers, feel-good stories, and a few tragic ones as well, all with the hope of tugging at your heartstrings so much that you would pick up that phone and make a pledge.

Plus, every now and then it was a local sports celebrity answering the phone, too, so that was always an added bonus.

I also particularly enjoyed when they would take a break from the local programming and pan to the live feed coming out of southern California. Nine times out of 10, their version of the telethon was being hosted by Marie Osmond, John Schneider, and Merlin Olsen -- three of my favourite celebrities from the 80s.

Yes, these are the things I remember from my childhood.


1) Canadian Cancer Society


Raise your hand if you, or someone you know, has been affected by cancer.

Yeah, that would be EVERYONE.

A former employer of mine once made the bold statement that every one of us is eventually going to die of cancer. You know, unless a heart attack or motor vehicle accident gets us first.

Sure, he was just making a broad generalization, but the sad reality is that he's probably not that far off.

No one is immune, not even our pets, and this is why many researchers focus their attention on finding a cure for cancer, or at least a better form of treatment.

So, naturally, this is another charity to which we always feel compelled to donate.

Plus, it's also the reason I like daffodils so much.


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Okay, so that's my list. Head on over to Divulge with Dani, The Brooding Woman, and A Piece of Apple for their take on their favourite charities.


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