Now more than ever, our char­i­ties need our sup­port

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Opinion - ROGER D. ALI

Ev­ery year, mil­lions of Cana­di­ans do­nate their time, tal­ent and trea­sures to char­i­ties and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions around the globe. These do­na­tions help the vul­ner­a­ble, feed the home­less and sup­port the pur­chase of vi­tal equip­ment in our lo­cal hos­pi­tals.

In the past sev­eral weeks, we have seen the in­creased de­mand for crit­i­cal health-care ser­vices due to COVID-19.

Dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time, many con­cerned in­di­vid­u­als have asked how they can help our lo­cal com­mu­nity and those most vul­ner­a­ble. Char­i­ties have post­poned or can­celled events and crit­i­cal rev­enue pro­grams that help gen­er­ate funds for their ser­vices.

Com­mu­nity or­ga­niz­ers are still think­ing about the vi­a­bil­ity of events planned in the late spring, sum­mer and early fall.

Un­for­tu­nately, with less do­na­tions com­ing in over the next sev­eral weeks, lo­cal char­i­ties will be in­creas­ingly strapped for re­sources and will con­tinue to face larger fi­nan­cial ob­sta­cles when try­ing to im­prove the qual­ity of life for vul­ner­a­ble Cana­di­ans.

As a non­profit leader, I know first­hand char­i­ties and non­prof­its rely on the help of our com­mu­nity to carry out their ser­vices and to make a pos­i­tive im­pact in our com­mu­nity.

When you choose to give back, you do more than help your favourite cause. Giv­ing can pro­vide you with many per­sonal ben­e­fits as well.

1. There are fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits when you do­nate to char­ity.

When you make a do­na­tion to a reg­is­tered char­ity in Canada, you will re­ceive a tax re­ceipt for your do­na­tion. Your re­ceipt can then be sub­mit­ted with your an­nual tax re­turn to re­ceive a tax credit for your do­na­tion.

2. Teach the next gen­er­a­tion about the im­por­tance of giv­ing.

Teach­ing chil­dren to care about oth­ers is an im­por­tant life les­son. When chil­dren watch you give, they will grow up know­ing that giv­ing back is the right thing to do and fol­low in your foot­steps. This is more im­por­tant than ever as we have had time to spend with our fam­i­lies at home and en­joy the sim­plic­ity of life that was per­haps for­got­ten or un­der­val­ued.

3. Giv­ing pro­motes feel­ings of hap­pi­ness.

Help­ing oth­ers feels good. When you do­nate to a char­ity that is im­por­tant to you, you not only help them con­tinue their vi­tal work, you’re also im­prov­ing your emo­tional well-be­ing. And more than ever, our com­mu­nity and lo­cal char­i­ties and hos­pi­tals need our help.

I en­cour­age you to think about what causes are dear to your heart and show your ap­pre­ci­a­tion and sup­port to that cause with a do­na­tion. The more you are pas­sion­ate about the cause, the more re­ward­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence will be.

You have the abil­ity to make a pos­i­tive im­pact in our com­mu­nity at this crit­i­cal time when we are faced with a world health cri­sis. There are hun­dreds of pro­grams and ser­vices in our com­mu­nity that would ben­e­fit from your gen­eros­ity.

If you would like to learn more about sup­port­ing a lo­cal char­ity, con­tact the or­ga­ni­za­tion you are in­ter­ested in or visit their web­site.

Roger D. Ali is the pres­i­dent and CEO of Ni­a­gara Health Foun­da­tion and im­me­di­ate past chair (vol­un­teer) for the As­so­ci­a­tion of Fundrais­ing Pro­fes­sion­als, Foun­da­tion for Phi­lan­thropy Canada. Fol­low Roger on Twit­ter @FundraiseR­oger.

TORSTAR LUKE ED­WARDS

Par­tic­i­pants in the YMCA of Ni­a­gara's Move for Kids event in Grimsby. In these times, sup­port­ing char­ity is as im­por­tant as ever, writes Roger Ali.

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