In previous years, the campaign was run in the Global Calgary parking lot but the TV news station decided to host it virtually last year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and decided to do so again this year.
Charities for this year’s campaign were picked due to their involvement with mental health and food security.
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags, many Calgarians have dealt with or know someone close to them who has dealt with a mental health crisis or who has needed to use the food bank either for themselves or for their pets.
Each week, the Global Calgary news team will share stories about the great work being done in our community and the diverse needs being met by the following charities: Parachutes for Pets, Kerby Centre, YMCA’s Y Mind program and the Calgary Food Bank.
This holiday season, Global News viewers are invited to support the Month of Giving and donate online to any or all of the four featured charities.
Learn more about Parachutes for Pets
Parachutes for Pets understands and celebrates the human-animal bond and proactively works towards building strong community support systems to protect the connection between people and their animals.
The charity assists low-income families within the Calgary area to work towards better health and welfare, not only for themselves, but also for their pets through accessible programs and resources.
Through its donations, Parachutes for Pets provides pet food hampers, vaccine and wellness clinics, grooming assistance and emergency pet packs to those who are fleeing domestic violence, people who are homeless, low-income seniors, veterans and kids who are in foster care with their furry friends.
Click here to donate to Parachutes for Pets as part of Global Calgary’s Month of Giving.
Learn more about Kerby Centre
The Kerby Centre provides a safe place for seniors to call home while escaping financial, physical and/or emotional abuse. For the past year, the shelter has been running at 99 per cent capacity and has had to turn away 370 vulnerable seniors in need.
Through two programs — the Adult Day Program and the Social Calling Program — the centre helps medically fragile seniors to connect with their peers, be creative and get active as well as it matches volunteers with isolated seniors for regular chats and check-ins, respectively.
The Kerby Centre says many seniors in Calgary suffer from food insecurity and its programs offer free food markets, food hampers, frozen meals and grocery delivery along with supportive visits to low-income, vulnerable seniors.
Click here to donate to The Kerby Centre as part of Global Calgary’s Month of Giving.
Learn more about YMCA’s Y Mind program
The YMCA’s Y Mind program takes a preventative approach to young people experiencing a mental health crisis and having thoughts of self-harm. According to the organization, one in five Canadians will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder in their lifetime, with anxiety and depression being the most prevalent.
Y Mind is a free, seven-week early intervention mental wellness program open to teens (13-18) and young adults (18-30). It is designed to help them build healthy coping skills and psychological resiliency so they can better recognize and manage stress before it becomes overwhelming.
Using techniques based on mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Y Mind gives participants an understanding of how stress response works, why our brains and bodies react the way they do and provides practical tools and strategies to move through physical and psychological discomfort without disengaging from life.
Click here to donate to the Y Mind program as part of Global Calgary’s Month of Giving.
Learn more about the Calgary Food Bank
The Calgary Food Bank is the city’s main charitable food hub and relies solely on support from the community. Once it addresses the food emergencies clients are facing by giving them food hampers, the food bank refers clients to partner agencies and programs for additional support.
The food bank is able to transform every dollar donated into $5 worth of food. The food bank says demand for its services increases in November and December and continues into the new year.
In December, Christmas content will be added to food hampers so clients can enjoy a holiday meal.
Click here to donate to The Calgary Food Bank as part of Global Calgary’s Month of Giving.