Spring Break Challenge – Raise money for your favourite cause

It’s time for the 4th Annual Wish & Give Spring Break Charity Challenge!  Formally the March Break Charity Challenge. 

 

We’ve come up with the  challenges for kids of all ages to accomplish over Spring Break.  Or come up with your own challenge.

 

Goal setting is so good for kids!  Goals are a great way to keep kids learning, motivated and feeling good.

 

And even better by reaching the goal? Kids are fundraising for their favourite cause!  Canadian charities need our support more than ever right now. And it feels good to give back!

 

So, what is your kid’s stretch goal?  Think of something so big that you would sponsor them too!  In the past few years, our kids have been motivated to reach huge goals in reading or learning a new skill. They’ve each chosen goals that impressed me enough to sponsor them!  And now they plan all year what their March Break goal will be!

 

5 Challenges to try:

 

Reading 

How many books can your child read in the next 3 weeks?  This works for any age, whether it’s learning to read or reading full novels.  Is it 10, 20 or 50 books?  Pick a big goal, they really can do it!

 

Exercise

It’s never been a better time to get outside!  The weather is mild and social distancing works well outdoors.  How far can they run or bike?  Set a big goal and train for it.  Maybe it’s learning to bike or biking 20km for the first time.  Grandma will be proud to sponsor this goal!

 

Learn something new

3 weeks is plenty of time to pick up a new skill.  Is it baking, cooking, doing the laundry or knitting a hat?  Encourage your children to learn something new.  Be sure to post pictures with the hashtag #MarchBreakCharityChallenge so we can celebrate these new skills!

 

Daily routines

No better time than now to start a healthy daily routine and do it every day for 3 weeks!  Is it making the bed every day, cleaning the house, putting away toys daily, or helping mommy and daddy?

 

Math

Time off from school is perfect for brushing up on new math skills. Is it telling time, multiplication tables, adding, division, fractions?  Set a big goal and get to work!

 

It’s easy to set up your Spring Break Charity Challenge at www.wishandgive.ca

 

  1. Simply log in
  2. Select ‘Invitation’
  3. Choose your charity
  4. Create your invitation – name your prize in the group gift section
  5. Send the URL to your friends and family and ask them to sponsor you (tip…don’t enter the email addresses online, just sent the URL)

 

For more information on how to set up your March Break Charity Challenge ‘invitation’ click here: Spring Break Charity Challenge Tool Kit. The tool kit provides a step-by-step process.

 

I’d love to hear what challenge your kid chose?  Please share your ideas in the comments. 

 

Have fun!! And thanks for giving back this Spring Break!  The world is better because of you!

 

Be sure to tag #SpringBreakCharityChallenge so we can celebrate your accomplishments!!

Celebrate International Women’s Day by Giving Back

The first gathering of Women’s Day began in 1911, a whopping 110 years ago, but we still have a long way to go. International Women’s Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women across the world! It is important to raise awareness regarding women’s equality and to work towards change. 

For the month of March, we have decided to highlight 6 female-focused charities that use their fundraising to accelerate the on-going women’s movement.

Red Shawl

Red Shawl is a Canadian run organization whose ambition is to work with women to equip them with the best lives they can have! Their goals include economic stability, improving resources and networks, and creating positive change in communities for women. They offer programs that provide women with access to driving lessons, assistance to seniors, mentorships, and leadership conferences.

Black Women in Motion

Black Women in Motion is a Toronto-based, youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of black womxn and survivors of sexual violence. We work within an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework to create culturally-relevant content, educational tools, healing spaces and economic opportunities for black womxn. 

Plan Canada – “Because I am a Girl”

The “Because I am a Girl” is a program developed by Plan Canada in 2012 to help women and girls around the world. They focus on discrimmination as being the main cause of gender-based violence. They help women with access to education, health care, clean water and sanitation.

Ernerstines

Ernestine’s is a women’s shelter located in Toronto, Canada. With over 50% of women in Canada being abused at least once since the age of 16, they offer shelter to women. Not only do they have programs for women but also for children and youth. They offer housing and legal support, skill exchange programs, counselling, and outreach support.

Sistering

Sistering is an agency that helps socially isolated women and trans people, located in Toronto, Ontario. They have been serving the community for over 35 years. Their goal is to create a world where everyone is valued, safe, respected, and treated equally. With at least 70% of the people they serve being consumers/survivors or substance users, they offer tailored support and programs to everyone.

Dress for Success

Dress for Success is a charity that provides women with a network of support to empower them to become economically independent. They have grown to over 150 cities helping more than 1.2 million women. Their vision is to have a world where women are not living in poverty, and are valued and treated with respect; which helps strengthen their families and shape their community.

Celebrate International Women’s Day

You can raise money for one of these amazing grass roots charities through your next event, party, teacher’s gift or office party.  Login to www.wishandgive.ca to get started.

Celebrate International Women’s Day today and everyday.

Pink Shirt Day – 4 Canadian charities putting a stop to bullying

Pink shirt day began as a community-organized project after a grade 9 student at a high school in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to class. Led by fellow classmates David Shepard and Travis Price, they stood up against the harassment and discrimination shown to their friend. This happened 14 years ago, and has blossomed into an amazing day that aims to raise awareness for bullying, as well as raising funds for programs helping children and teens.

This day is meant for the most vulnerable, children and teens who are struggling with bullying.  On February 24th, we wear pink shirts to show our support.

We’ve put a list of Canadian charities focused on anti-bullying that you can support with your next Wish & Give party.

Pink Shirt Day

The Pink Shirt organization works with over 900 anti-bullying programs. All donations go toward programs that help decrease bullying and the effects that it has on kids. Some charities that are included are Kids Help Phone and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. The Pink Shirt organization has helped by encouraging people around the world to come together, wear pink and fight bullying on February 24th.

Bullying Canada

Bullying Canada is an anti-bullying charity that provides resources and support to kids and teens who have been subjects of bullying. They provide education on bullying as well as 24/7 support from parents, coaches and teachers. It was created by 17 year old Rob and 14 year old Katie who were severely bullied in 2006.

PFLAG – Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

PFLAG stands for Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It is a Canadian charity that assists family and friends to better understand and support those close to them who are going through their coming out process. This can be a stressful period with many adjustments, which is why PFLAG offers resources, online counselling and local chapters. They feature stories of individuals on their website who have been a part of the PFLAG community and how it has helped them become who they truly are!

Dare to Care

Dare to Care was developed in 1999 to deal with issues of bullying in schools all across Canada. This organization specifically offers programs in schools to educate students and faculty on the signs of bullying and what to do if you encounter it. They offer 3 programs, one for students aged 5 to 25, one for parents, and another for teachers and staff, essentially covering all the areas where bullying can be recognized better. These programs allow the community to take action and do something about bullying in their schools. Recently, with COVID-19 affecting in-person school attendance and the fact that cyberbullying has gone up 70% during the pandemic, they are now offering a virtual program.

Give Back

We’d love to help you give back to one of these amazing organizations for your next party. Whether virtual or in person, birthdays are a great time to give back.  Our invitations ask guests to contribute to a group gift and a donation to charity.  Get started at www.wishandgive.ca.

5 Canadian Charities to Support for Black History Month

February marks the beginning of Black History Month

For the month of February, we are highlighting charities that are crucial to supporting Black Canadians from kids and youth to entrepreneurs. It is a month to celebrate the growing legacy of Black Canadians.

In 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was created. A year later when a petition was brought to the city of Toronto proclaiming February to be Black History Month it was passed! In 1993, the OBHS brought this same petition to the Ontario government, passing again. And in 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized Black History Month.

This month we will be highlighting charities that recognize and support to Black Canadians across the country.

Pour3Points Montreal

This organization was created by a Quebec-local named Fabrice Vil who grew up in an underprivileged community. He realized the importance of coaches guiding kids and teens. He started Pour3Points to pair vulnerable youth with positive and challenging coaches to guide them in life. P3P programs are growing among schools in Quebec, and gaining national interest in school boards across the country. As the importance of a positive influence amongst growing teens is becoming recognized, Vil has stepped up to fill that role. He trains life coaches who then go and train local youth in a number of things including exercise, education and life lessons. In the last year, Vil, a Black man, has used this platform to discuss issues of racism and inequality and ways to dismantle it.

CEE Centre for Young Black ProfessionalsToronto

The CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals is a Toronto based charity that is dedicated to addressing the economic and social barriers that affect Black youth ages 14 and over who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET).

Their mission is to create a society and economy in which Black youth achieve financial prosperity and high quality of life for themselves and their families to contribute to the advancement of Canada.

Tropicana Community Services – Scarborough

Our mission is to offer culturally aware and supportive programs to those in need, including but not limited to counselling, settlement services, childcare, education, personal development, and employment services, with a predominant focus on the Caribbean, Black and African communities of Toronto.

 Jane and Finch Centre – Toronto 

The Jane/Finch Centre is a multi-service, community-based organization with a strong focus on poverty reduction through resident engagement, capacity building and anti-oppression. We have a long history of innovation and response to community needs and priorities. For over 40 years, the organization has been strategically building the health and well-being of Jane and Finch in collaboration with residents, community leaders, community groups, organizations and partners from within the local community and beyond. With a resident-led Board of Directors, the Centre has always been a passionate and strategic organization which has won numerous best practice awards.

RISE Edutainment – Toronto

Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (RISE) is a flourishing community led by youth, composed of artists, activists, free-thinkers and revolutionaries. Together, they create safe and welcoming platforms for self-expression and healing through the performance arts. Located primarily on the east-side of Scarborough, RISE reaches and draws youth from all corners of the GTA and beyond. RISE believes in the power of youth voice to advocate, express and build community.

For more charities supporting Black Canadians see our June 2020 Blog

 

Mental Health Matters

We hope everyone is having a healthy and happy New Year! But with these trying times, it is understandable that your mental health can take the back burner sometimes. However, it is important to speak up about what you are dealing with and talk to someone if you need help.

Bell Let’s Talk Day was created in September 2010 to provide mental health opportunities to people struggling across Canada. Today, we are celebrating their 10th January running. This initiative partners with over 1,000 hospitals, research institutes and care centres to provide funding to aid Canadians in their mental health.

With COVID-19 making waves in March, this is the first Bell Let’s Talk Day since the pandemic. Which is why it is even more important to be aware of what you are capable of, and what is going on with those around you. It has been a huge year for inner-growth and understanding, and much has been made possible thanks to the endless opportunities we have in Canada. We truly are lucky, and must recognize others who may be struggling. Since starting their first Bell Let’s Talk Day in January 2011, they have raised $100,695,763.75 with over 1 billion social media messages.

On January 28th, Bell Canada will donate 5¢ for every text, call, tweet or TikTok video using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. Be sure to check out our Bell Let’s Talk Instagram story and share! 

For the month of January, we have decided to highlight some charities that have made strides in providing mental health care to Canadians!

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) – Toronto and National

CAMH is one of Canada’s largest research centres and offers mental health teaching and educating, along with many online and in-person mental health services. They specialize in addiction and depression but also offer services for a variety of mental health disorders or anyone who may find it useful.

Stella’s Place  – Toronto, ON

Stella’s Place is located in the heart of Toronto, and provides mental health services to teens and young adults across the city! They offer peer support, mental health workshops and drop-in counselling to those struggling, in need of help. With COVID-19, affecting everyone’s mental health they have begun to offer online services including one-on-one counselling and group fitness activities like yoga!

Kid’s Help Phone  – National

Kid’s Help Phone is the only service in Canada that offers 24/7 phone/chat/text support for kids and teens dealing with any issue, whether it’s abuse, mental health, neglect, dating, etc. There is no judgement. 

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – National

The Canadian Mental Health Association is one of the oldest and most established mental health associations in Canada. They provide resources to those struggling with their mental health with a goal of building support and resilience amongst their community. 

These are more amazing charities are all on our website.  You can choose any charity across Canada to support through your next party or event.  To get started visit www.wishandgive.ca and raise money for a mental health charity today.

Group Gifts for the Holidays

Holiday Group Gifting that Feels Great

Happy Holidays!  Who else is excited for the holidays?  Even though it will look a lot different this year, there are still lots of ways to celebrate.  And we have made group gifting easy and fun!

Wish & Give is the perfect solution to thanking teachers or coaches virtually.  Our online platform helps you arrange a group monetary gift and a donation to charity.  All from the comfort of home.  No shopping required. And everyone will feel great about giving back to a local charity.

How to set up a group gift:

  1. Ask your teacher, coach or honoured recipient what charity they would like to support.  Or choose one for them.
  2. Create an invitation at wishandgive.ca. In step 1, choose ‘Teacher’s Gift’
  3. Send the private URL, generated after the invitation is created, to those who are contributing.
  4. Watch the contributions come in and add up!
  5. Email us after all the contributions are in and we’ll send the cash gift* to the honoured recipient and the donation to the charity.

Easy-peasy and everyone will feel great about giving back.  Canadian charities need our support more than ever now.  This is a one stop shop to do something good and say happy holidays to your teacher, ballet teacher, swim coach, hockey coach…

No shopping. No leaving home. And feel good about supporting a local charity!

*We use Pay Pal to send the gift, minus the administration fees of 5.5% and 50 cents per transaction.

Wish & Give Summer Challenge

This summer Wish & Give invites you to challenge yourself and raise money  for your favourite Canadian charity.

 

Change yourself, change your community. 

 

Join our summer challenge.

 

Canadian charities need us now more than ever.  Let’s give back this summer.  Wish & Give challenges you to challenge yourself (or your kid) to set and reach a personal goal and raise money for your favourite cause.

 

Let’s turn the 1980’s summer into the 2020 summer and make it all about reaching goals and giving back.  The 1980’s summer was carefree.  We roamed the streets, gained our independence and had fun.  The 2020 summer can be that and more.  Harness kids energy and time into doing good.  Set a personal goal and raise money for their favourite cause…and earn a prize.

 

What’s your goal?  What do you want to accomplish?  What can your kid accomplish?

 

Run 100 km

Read 15 books

Learn to cook 5 meals

Sew 100 masks

 

Set up your invitation at Wish & Give and ask your friends and family to sponsor you today!

 

How to participate:

1. Set a personal goal

2. Choose a Canadian charity to raise money for

(we have 86,000+ charities to choose from)

3. Set up an ‘invitation’

4. Ask your friends and family to sponsor you

(send them your personalized URL)

5. Achieve your goal this summer

6. Earn a prize and

7. Feel great about accomplishing your goal and giving back!

 

Get started here:

https://mailchi.mp/e2778764814b/summer-challenge

 

My goal is to run 100km this summer.  – Zoe, age 10

#summerchallenge

9 Charities Supporting Black Canadians – That you can Support

You can help fight racism in Canada.

We are sad, we are moved, we are deeply disturbed by the recent events stemming from racism in the US and Canada.  Over the past week we have listened, learned and done some research.

Below is a list of 9 amazing, grass roots, Canadian charities working tirelessly  within Canada to preserve Black history, provide legal help to Black Canadians, support Black artists, Black women and Black youth.

By supporting these charities you are raising your hand to fight racism in Canada.  We believe Black lives matter and will do everything we can to raise our voice.

This is by no means exhaustive list; please share with us other organizations that should be highlight in the comments.

Harriet Tubman Community Organization

Their mission is to deliver meaningful youth-centered, sustainable, educational, culturally relevant programs and initiatives.

Nia Centre for the Arts

A Toronto-based not-for-profit organization that supports, showcases and promotes an appreciation of arts from across the African Diaspora.

Black Health Alliance

The Black Health Alliance is a community-led registered charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada.

Ontario Black History Society

The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is a Registered Canadian charity, dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of Black History and heritage.

Black Legal Action Centre 

The mission of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) is to educate, advocate, and litigate to combat individual and systemic anti-Black racism in Ontario.

Black Women in Motion

Their mission is to empower, celebrate and support the advancement of Black women.

Black Youth Help Line

Black Youth Helpline serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black youth specific service, positioned and resourced to promote access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families and schools.

Hogan’s Alley Society (Vancouver)

The Hogan’s Alley Society advocates for Black Vancouverites who have endured the legacies of urban renewal and their erasure from the official historical narrative.

Black Lives Matter Toronto

To forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with black communities, black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies in order to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto.

Why Gift Giving is important – even for Virtual Parties

“Mom, does COVID mean I won’t get anything for my birthday?”

It’s the question you’re dreading if your child has a birthday coming up. You want the day to be special—to include things that can help them feel normal and safe, but it isn’t easy, is it? 

So what do you do?  

If your kids are like mine, they’ve been planning their birthday all year long. Not only do they look forward to their own birthdays, they eagerly anticipate attending their friends’ birthday parties and making them feel special.

 Virtual parties and drive by greetings are a great solution.  These are amazing ways to pivot the traditional birthday party and help kids feel celebrated, special and—most importantly—loved.

Giving Gifts, Safely 

Just because it’s a virtual party or a drive by greeting, doesn’t mean the birthday kid needs to forego their gift. Giving is important, it’s their birthday after all!

At Wish & Give, we get it. It really is better to give than receive. (Though receiving is pretty good too!) Giving gifts isn’t only important for the birthday kid; it’s important for guests too! But actually going to a store these days can seem like taking your life in your hands. 

Great News

Here’s the thing: Wish & Give’s invitations have always been virtual! Our invitations mean that your guests can virtually contribute to an amazing group gift and, to keep that goodness going, a donation to charity.  It’s win-win for everyone! Your birthday kid can choose the gift or experience they really want and experience the joys of kindness and generosity by fundraising for their favourite cause.  

The Birthday Kid Wins:
  1. Lets your child know they are loved and remembered by friends near and far
  2. They’ll receive the gift or experience they actually want
  3. Teaches them how to support a cause they care about
  4. Feels like they’re part of something with their friends, supporting a common cause
 Guests want to give!
  1. Feels good about giving a gift in a safe, meaningful and easy way
  2. Opportunity to support charity – a dose of happy hormones!
  3. Stress-free giving – (no masks, gloves or hand sanitizer required!)
  4. Saves time – no shopping, no wrapping

Parties may have changed a little, but kids still need a chance to celebrate and be celebrated. While we all look forward to a swift resolution to the crisis this pandemic has caused, in the meantime, you can help your kid feel amazing.  

 Get started with your Wish & Give invitation at www.wishandgive.ca  and don’t by shy to ask your guests for gifts!  They want to give.

Thanking Our Teacher’s from Home

Calling Parents – Let’s say thank you to our teachers!

It is that time of year. And what a year it has been. From strike days to home schooling we parents have been through a lot.  And teachers have been through a lot. I think we need a collective sigh and virtual pat on the back.

Our teachers have showed resiliency and showed up for our kids in this strange new world. They quickly transitioned to online learning and they miss our kids just as much as we miss them.  Let’s show our gratitude by giving back, to the teacher and to their charity of choice. A group gift that gives back.

Wish & Give is the perfect solution to thanking teachers virtually.  Our online platform helps you arrange a class monetary gift and a donation to their favourite charity.  All from the comfort of home.  No shopping required. And everyone will feel great about giving back to a local charity.

How to set up a class thank you gift:

  1. Ask your teacher what charity they would like to support.
  2. Create an invitation at wishandgive.ca.
  3. Send the private URL to the parents in your class (skip the enter email step online).
  4. Email us after all the contributions are in and we’ll send the cash gift* to your teacher and the donation to the charity.

Easy-peasy and everyone will feel great about giving back.  Canadian charities need our support more than ever now.  This is a one stop shop to do something good and thank your teacher.

No shopping. No leaving home. And feel good about supporting a local charity!

*We use Pay Pal to send the gift, minus the administration fees of 5.5% and 50 cents per transaction.