Month of Giving 2021: Generous Calgarians open hearts, wallets to address key issues

Global Calgary to support four charities that have a focus on mental health and food security: Parachutes for Pets, Kerby Centre, YMCA’s Y Mind program and The Calgary Food Bank. Global News

It’s been a tough year for many, but generous Calgarians have opened their hearts and wallets to help once again.

The final tally for Global Calgary’s Month of Giving campaign is in — an incredible $179,108.

For the second year in a row, Global Calgary virtually partnered with four charities to raise money for food security and mental health: the Calgary Food Bank, Parachutes for Pets, Kerby Centre and the YMCA’s Y Mind program.

Each week, the Global Calgary news team has been sharing stories about the great work being done in our community and the diverse needs being met by these groups.

Parachutes for Pets assists low-income families within the Calgary area to work toward better health and welfare, not only for themselves, but also for their pets through accessible programs and resources.

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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.

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.

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 to play video: 'Kerby Centre keeping food on the table for vulnerable seniors this holiday season'
Kerby Centre keeping food on the table for vulnerable seniors this holiday season

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.

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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.

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.

Click to play video: 'Month of Giving: Calgary Food Bank helps families and individuals with food insecurity'
Month of Giving: Calgary Food Bank helps families and individuals with food insecurity

Throughout December, Christmas content has been added to food hampers so clients can enjoy a holiday meal.

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Thank you to our generous viewers for helping our friends and neighbours in our community who need some help.

— with files from Jessika Guse, Global News

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