Charity is Not the Antidote to Over-Consumption

Stuff. I've written about how it tends to pile up, how our society seems designed to get us to accumulate more and more, and how it can become a burden. For many of us, one solution to this is to 'purge'. We go through our closets and basements and cupboards and get rid of stuff [...]

How To be More Help Than Hindrance: Southern Alberta Floods of 2013

Here in my province, there was epic flooding in the month of June, resulting in widespread damage and evacuations in many communities. The downtown area of one of our biggest cities (Calgary) was actually underwater. Those of us living in Edmonton, less than 4 hours away, felt a personal connection to this. Most of us [...]

How Soon is “Too Soon”?: Southern Alberta Floods of 2013

Here in my province, there was epic flooding in the month of June, resulting in widespread damage and evacuations in many communities. The downtown area of one of our biggest cities was actually underwater for long periods. Many reacted by expressing moral support and by giving money to aid in the relief efforts. Some, however, [...]

Good is Good! Bad is Bad! Give Us Money!

Some time ago, I saw a speaker for a human rights organization give a laundry list of horrible things (child poverty, human trafficking, etc.) and declare that his organization stood against these things. So what did his organization stand for? According to the speech: justice, rights, hope, and imagination. Well, bully for them. They're fighting [...]

Real Change is Complicated: Lessons from Canada’s First Nations

In Ottawa, the chief of a northern Ontario native reserve in bad shape is on a hunger strike, and says she'll fast until her demands are met. I watched the chief's video and a CBC piece on the conditions on Attiwapiskat (her reserve), and read the website of Idle No More, a movement with which [...]

Edmonton Christmas Charities: Enough

Here in Edmonton, we've gotten the standard news item from charities about the demand for holiday help being higher this year. I got to thinking - how does the amount of help pouring out compare to actual need? What are we basing these cries of desperation on? Much of holiday campaigning is done to provide [...]

Good Works In Mysterious Ways

Positive change can come about in any number of ways; not always ones we would expect. I've recently been reminded of this through an experience with a very driven woman, Shirley Borrelli. Shirley is an image consultant. She helps people with their clothes, hair makeup, etc. Not the kind of work you would immediately associate [...]

How To Change the World On Your Own Terms

There are so many good causes out there - so many organizations that want and need our help to make the world a better place. You don't have to know everything about each of these items to be able to choose one. Many of us wonder: how does one filter through all the [...]

3 Ways to Make a Difference Without Giving to Charity

How to Make a Difference without Giving to Charity Giving to charity is just one of the options we have for making a difference. It's not the only one, and it's not always the best one. Here are a few non-'nonprofit' ideas for applying our time, energy, ideas, and money to make the [...]