It’s the end of the school year! Be sure to thank your teachers!

Celebrate the amazing people who teach our children all year long! Send a Wish & Give link to the other parents in your class to collect a cash group gift for the teacher and a donation to a charity of their choice. The teacher gets what they want, and everyone gives back to the community – or even the school! A win-win!

How to Wish & Give for group gift collecting?

Follow these 10 simple steps below. The site was built for parties and tickets, but can easily be used for group gift collecting!

  1. Log in at www.wishandgive.ca
  2. Click Invitation and next
  3. Choose a charity
    1. If you are choosing your school, email julie@wishandgive.ca to have it added to the database
    2. Search by postal code to find a charity near you or simply type it in
  4. Party Details Page – while this is not a ‘party’ this is the page where you enter in the details the other parents will see when they receive the invitation
  5. TIPS:
    • Set the dates to when you start and end the contribution period
    • Set the location to the school’s address – this will populate a map and not have your home address on the map!
    • Click’online’ party and ‘private’
  6. Use the Description Box to let the parents know you are collecting funds for the teacher and donations to their charity of choice as a thank you for teaching your children all year long.
  7. Enter Emails – Skip this step, otherwise a party invitation will be sent to each parent. Click Next.
  8. Cut and paste the personalized URL and email it to the parents
  9. When you are ready to pay out the cash to the teacher click ‘close’ on your dashboard and email julie@wishandgive.ca with the teacher’s email address.
    1. The cash (minus admin fees*) will be sent directly to the teacher.
    2. And the donation will be sent directly to the charity.
  10. That’s it!  Congrats! I hope you come back to use Wish & Give for your child’s next birthday party! 🙂

*Administration fees = 5.5% and 50cents per transaction

 

 

Why Do You Volunteer?

Why do you volunteer?

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

This quote is on a flip chart in the entrance to my kid’s school, it’s not only cooperation month with the Toronto District School Board, but it’s also National Volunteer Week. This week has me reflecting on what volunteering means to me and to those around me.

Monday, all the parents at my kid’s school, got a desperate plea via email for help with pizza day on Wednesday.  I checked my calendar and finally had that exact 2-hour time slot free, so I responded that I could help.   I showed up for the first time and was amazed at the sheer number of parents who pull off this special day every month for our school.  There were at least 15 of us!  And everyone was busy!

I asked the other parents why the volunteer, not just at the school, but in general.  I’m always impressed with the sheer number of hours some people devote to volunteering from coaching their kids teams to leading a school activity such as pizza day.

Here are some of the amazing reasons why people volunteer:

To say thank you.

Because the lead volunteer asked!

Because people need help.

I love my kids and like seeing them at school.

Volunteering makes me feel good about myself.

To give back to the community.

To get out of the house.

To lead by example.

You shouldn’t always get paid for what you do.

To help out before I start full time work in a couple of weeks.

Why not help if you can?

I love this! Such diverse reasons why others are inspired to give back.

Volunteering plays a huge role in my life. 

I am currently on the board of a food bank in downtown Toronto which is 99% volunteer run.  We rely on volunteers to come 5 days a week to help their fellow citizens access food and meals.  These volunteers inspire me.  They are often clients themselves, on some form of government assistance, yet devote their time to helping others.  One gentleman who has volunteered there for 4 years told me this:

“I come here for the community and the conversation.  It’s a place to belong. Since I am on government assistance, FYFB gives me purpose and a rhythm to my week.”

How do you give back to your community? 

It doesn’t always have to be a huge time commitment to volunteer. Many charities are not set up to host volunteers.  There are other ways to support charities, nonprofits and schools in your community.  Donating food next time you are at the grocery store (look for the Daily Bread yellow bins near the front door) is a quick way to give back.  Or shoveling someone else’s sidewalk. Doing something at your office such as joining a committee or organizing a fundraiser with your co-workers.

Giving financially is also very much needed in the charity and non-profit sector, and sometimes even more appreciated than gifts of time.  I often hear people feeling guilty for not being able to do more volunteer hours.  I try to reassure them that giving financially is sometimes even more important that giving your time.  We all have different roles to play in society.  And that is what makes Canada a great place to live!

Simple Ways You Can Volunteer

It’s National Volunteer Week, so it is a good week to reflect on what volunteering means in your life.  Does it mean spending a whole day with a charity or traveling overseas to ‘lend a hand’?  Not necessarily.  There are lots of other ways to get involved in your community that are helpful to charities and nonprofits and don’t necessarily require a ton of your time.

Small things can make a difference right in your own community. Here are a few ways you can give back:

  1. Help With a Kids Sports Team

Most, if not all, kid sports teams are volunteer led.  Can you coach, arrange the snack list, send out communications to the team?  There are lots of roles within a team or the head office to offer your time and talents.

  1. Help in Your Kids School

There are countless ways parents can help at school, next time you get the desperate email pleas, try to say yes.  Often this only requires an hour or so at a time.  And your kids will love it!

  1. Focus on Your Neighbourhood

Look for ways you can offer your time to help others right on your own street or neighbourhood.  Is it helping someone garden, shovel snow, rake leaves, take out the trash?  Small acts of kindness go a long way for both parties involved.

  1. Focus on Your Office

What team or committee at work can you join?  There are ways to give back right at work, from the health and safety committees to organizing sports teams or fundraising events.   Often food banks or other places will host corporate volunteer days.

  1. Join a Board

There are over 160,000 charities and nonprofits in Canada who need board members with all kinds of skills.  Charity Village or Board Match can help connect your skills with the right board.

  1. Donate Financially

Often charities and nonprofits appreciate financial donations over gifts of your time.  Not every charity is set up to host volunteers.  Think about how you can financially support a local organization.

  1. Fundraise With Your Next Birthday

Use Wish and Give (www.wishandgive.ca) to fundraise for a local charity or nonprofit through your next birthday.  It’s great for kids too, and an easy way to teach them about helping others.

Do All the Good You Can

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Set a Goal & Give Back This March Break

Calling all parents, kids, and teens!  This March Break, Wish and Give is challenging you to do something better!  Better for yourself and better for your community.

We challenge you to set a personal goal and fundraise for your favourite local charity.  Choose something that is a real stretch for you.  Is it reading 10 chapter books?  Learning to ride a bike?  Cleaning out the garage?  Think about what will motivate your friends and family to sponsor you and choose a goal.

And what makes it even better…. You win a cash prize* at the end!

So, put down your devices, and learn a new skill, read 10, 20, 30 books, learn to bake a cake!  You choose your own challenge.

Ask your family and friends to sponsor you and your charity via your personal web page.  To get started, log into www.wishandgive.ca.  Choose your charity, set your own goal, name your prize, and send the URL to your friends and family via email or your parents’ social media.  Don’t forget to add a description to your invitation about why and how you are fundraising for your chosen charity over March Break.

During the week, post pictures of your progress on social media with #MarchBreakCharityChallenge. We want to cheer you on and it will encourage your friends and family to sponsor you!

When you reach your goal send a picture to info@wishandgive.ca. We want to celebrate your achievements!  We’ll send you the cash* that was raised for your group gift to your parent and the funds you raised for your charity of choice directly to the charity.

Get ready to challenge yourself this March Break!

#MarchBreakCharityChallenge

For more details on how to get started refer to the Took Kit:

March Break Charity Challenge Tool Kit

9 Ways to Use Wish and Give

Kids Birthday Party
Kids should be celebrated! Birthdays are a big deal. Why not use this special day to do something even more special? Send your party invitations through Wish and Give and your child gets a group gift while making a donation to charity. Feel proud by using this special day to give back to your community. The birthday kid wins (best-ever gift), it’s eco friendly (no wrapping paper), and it saves time for the guest parents (no shopping). Setting up your online invitation is easy. Invite guests directly through the site or send your own email with a personalized URL. Guest parents click through with their credit card – super easy and everyone wins!

Grown-Up Birthday Party
Having a milestone birthday? It’s time to celebrate! Use Wish and Give to invite guests to contribute toward a group gift and donation to charity on your behalf. Use the group gift for a special experience, theatre tickets or a night on the town. Because who needs more stuff? A win-win!

Office Party
Still passing around an envelope collecting cash for your co-workers’ upcoming wedding, baby, or retirement? Wish and Give can automate this for you! Set up an online invitation, send the URL to your colleagues and everyone can contribute with their credit card. And by using Wish and Give a donation is collected for a charity of your choice! Celebrate your co-worker and give back! A win-win.

Stag and Doe
Hosting a Stag and Doe? Sell tickets through Wish and Give and support a local charity with each ticket sale. You set the price, add a donation amount and then invite your friends via social media, email, or your website. You win and a local charity wins!

Bridal Shower
By using Wish and Give to send bridal shower invitations, your guests can contribute toward a group gift and donate to charity. The couple gets the gift they want and give back to your community. A win-win!

Wedding
Send eco-friendly invitations online through Wish and Give and invite your guests to contribute cash gifts and a donation to charity. Easy for guests, easy for you and everyone feels good about giving back to the community.

Baby Shower
Use Wish and Give to invite guests to a baby shower. The mom-to-be gets a group gift (think stroller or crib) and guests can include a donation to a charity. A win-win! The parents get what they need and everyone gives back to the community.

Ticket Sales
Selling tickets for an event? Wish and Give has you covered. Set your ticket price and then simply add on a small donation to a charity of your choice. Or let your guests choose their own charity! Send a unique URL to your guests or post it on your website and social media feeds. Track ticket sales online and be proud that you gave back to the community through your event.

Teachers Gifts
Celebrate the amazing people who teach our children all year long! Send a Wish and Give link to the other parents in your class to collect a cash group gift for the teacher and a donation to a charity of their choice. The teacher gets what they want, and everyone gives back to the community – or even the school! A win-win!

Giving Tuesday All Year Long

Since its inception in 2013, GivingTuesday has offered charities a strong start to the holiday giving season – but the generosity has only just begun! Many campaigns launched on November 28th and will run for the rest of the month, so let’s keep on giving Canada!

The world has seen a particularly challenging year in 2017, from natural disasters to divisive global events. One way to reunite is by celebrating our shared values: empathy for the challenges of others and our desire to help those in need. Millions of simple acts of giving, all added together, amount to real impact.

 

Giving Tuesday

With 43 communities leading organized local movements from coast to coast, grassroots giving involving schools, businesses, charities, and everyday Canadians, is at an all-time high. To celebrate, mayors and provincial premiers from across the country proclaimed November 28th as GivingTuesday in their jurisdictions. Within each community, acts of kindness and giving were performed, including hugs for charity, blood donations, food and toy drives and much, much more.