What #GivingTuesday Means, And Who Needs Help in Toronto

Giving Tuesday ( #GivingTuesday) started four years ago in 2012, according to Wikipedia, as a hashtag based promotion for giving back. It’s an American-based International day that follows some of the biggest spending days of the year, though only 18% of Americans have heard of it so far. Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, tied in with American Thanksgiving weekend, are all about shopping for oneself, and getting the best deals for Christmas presents. Since 2012, Giving Tuesday follows right afterward as a reminder that there are many out there who are in need, and while its awesome you got an XBox One for 50% off, some of those savings could help a family of five in need of food for dinner, or electricity to keep their house warm during the colder months, or simply, shelter.

Last year, I read a heartfelt plea for help from one of my favourite charities here in Toronto. The letter discussed a voicemail received by the charity’s Executive Director, “A man’s voice cleared his throat and pleaded, ‘Me and my family just moved to Toronto from out east. I don’t have a job yet, we’re out of food, and almost out of money.’… He sounded scared, desperate, defeated. I heard a baby crying in the background.” The story goes on and the man begs for baby formula at the very least, if there was nothing left to spare for the other four members of his family.

It brought me to tears, and has stuck with me for an entire year.

I’m trying to teach my 6 yo nephew Kit about generosity, and helping those in need, because not everyone is as lucky as he to have a home with five loving adults, ample food, entertainment and a warm place to sleep each night.

While he grasped the idea that we were helping others by donating food to our local food bank, he’s just barely understanding that not every home is the same. That some struggle, either for a short term, or their entire life.

He does understand though, that when we can help others, we should.

Who Needs Help In Toronto

You can’t throw an 8-bit pebble through the interwebs without hitting a charity. Everyone needs help, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. While I would like nothing better than to help each and every charity that truly helps the people they’re singling out, I have a selection of local charities that receive my time and funds as I feel it best to help my neighbours first. This isn’t to say that I don’t help international charities, I do frequently. They get a lot of coverage through social networks or even TV though. The charities listed here may not have been on your radar until this very moment.

Local Toronto charities, in no particular order:

Want to find charities that will help fellow Canadians? is an incredible resource to find all the communities that need help today.


How are you going to help this Giving Tuesday?

Living in Superman’s Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, squees over comic art, hunts down the nerdiest places to visit and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction. Read More…

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5 Comments on “What #GivingTuesday Means, And Who Needs Help in Toronto

Heather Lynne
December 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm

This is a great collection Aeryn, thanks for compiling it!

Randa @ TBK
December 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

This was the first time I have ever heard of giving Tuesday and I LOVE IT. The shoebox project sounds like a great organization. Thanks for sharing all of these.

Kelly @ City Mom
December 3, 2015 at 11:02 am

Thank you for clarifying what #GivingTuesday actually is. I will be doing some donations to services here in London, ON and this post has reminded me that I need to make that a priority! Thanks!

December 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm

This is such a great list! I find many want to give but often do not know how or where. Every little bit counts and makes such a big difference, especially this time of year

Little Miss Kate
December 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm

So many wonderful organizations doing great work in our city. I love the ginger bread house kits, a great idea as a gift too.


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