Thank you all, 2023 edition

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Every year I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed to be able to do what I do, and blessed to be able to make a living doing it. So every year we also try to give back just a little, to help those who have less and lend a hand to those who are working hard to provide and become more.

Here’s what we were able to do last year.

This year, we supported 5 separate charities with gifts. I try to choose those that align somewhat with what I do, and we also try to give where there are matching gifts from major benefactors or governments so that we can 3X or even in some cases 7X the value of the contribution. I also try to have a mix between urgent/emergency aid and long-term aid that will help people help themselves. A fish is great when you need one now. Knowing how to fish — and having the rod, reel, line, and hook that you need — are essential for securing your future.

These are the charities we donated to this year:

  • Archway Community Services Food Bank
  • Union Gospel Mission
  • Salvation Army
  • Food for the Hungry Canada
  • World Vision

And here’s what my clients allowed us to do. (Note, sometimes the charities stipulate that the gift could go to 1 of multiple different countries, which I’m reflecting here. Also, World Vision allocates gifts somewhere in the developing world where it’s most needed, so I don’t always know exactly where it went.)

  • Filled up the local food bank’s larder
  • Enabled Union Gospel Mission to deliver meals to 25 people
  • Supported our local Salvation Army providing food and shelter
  • Supplied water infrastructure for a community in 1 of Bangladesh, Cambodia, or Ethiopia
  • Enabled clean water delivery in a struggling country
  • Provided resources for a family to launch a small business in 1 of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Rwanda, or Uganda
  • Bought a sewing machine for a woman in Rwanda to help her generate income
  • Provided medicine for children in a community in 1 of Bangladesh, Guatemala, or Uganda
  • Funded creation of a school garden for vegetables in Cambodia or Uganda, supplying nutritious food and education
  • Provided gardening tools for a family in Burundi, Cambodia, or Rwanda so they can grow their own food
  • Delivered fruit and vegetable seeds for communities in 1 of Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Rwanda, or Uganda so people can grow their own food
  • Provided a “fluffle” of rabbits for a family in Guatemala (yep, fluffle is the right word!)
  • Provided a pair of chickens for a family in either Guatemala or Rwanda for eggs and food security
  • Delivered a goat for a family in Rwanda so they can get milk and more (and the goat’s first baby goes to a neighbor)
  • Gave a dairy cow to a family in Bangladesh or Uganda so they can get milk for food and income
  • Provided 2 hens and a rooster to a family in an area where food is scarce
  • Delivered laptops and projectors for a community in need (2X multiplied thanks to corporate benefactors)
  • Offered vocational training for unemployed people in developing countries (6X multiplied thanks to a matching Canadian government grant)
  • Kickstarted female entrepreneurs in developing countries with tools and training. Think sewing machines, cloth, agricultural tools, etc. (3X multiplied thanks to the Canadian government and corporate benefactors.)
  • Provided books for a school in a developing nation. (Multiplies 5X thanks to partnering companies.)
  • Provided educational toys and games for children’s centers in developing countries. (Multiplies 5X.)
  • Delivered solar panels to communities without energy so they can have lighting, irrigation, and communication (Multiples 2X.)
  • Delivered solar lights to communities without power grid access to children can study and families can spend more time together. (2X multiplier thanks to partner companies.)
  • Providing emergency food for communities in crisis. (Multiplies 7X thanks to corresponding donations from the World Food Program.)

Many of us in the Western world are rich. We lack nothing, really. And it is our duty to provide for those less fortunate, both locally and around the world. Thank you to my clients for making it possible!

For this year, those clients included: