Charity Spotlight

August 2015: National Op Shop Week

It’s been awhile since I have highlighted a charity, so check out my latest blog post for more on op shops 🙂

April 2015: TWLOHA and A21 

…those who have seen some of my Instagram photos lately won’t be surprised that I am starting this post with a Switchfoot song 🙂

The World You Want by Switchfoot (Fading West Album)

I started to record some charities on this page because I was thankful for those who are able to address at least some of the sad stories we see in our world today. For example, Switchfoot publicly supports the efforts of a charity called TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms) which is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

With the amount of sad stories that we can come across daily (…thanks to 24/7 social media access), we can easily become overwhelmed (…or some may even become desensitized). Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I like to highlight the positive responses.

I guess the amount of negative or positive, depressing or inspirational, local or international stories you see depends on the feeds that you choose to follow.

Funny, that term feed… didn’t really think about it until now…

What is ‘feeding’ you? Makes me think of another phrase: ‘What’s eating you?’

Lately, the injustice of human trafficking in the world has been eating me.

(…I think it has always been eating me, but I guess it was just recently brought to my attention again)

On the weekend, I (along with an arena of about 10,000) heard Christine Caine speak – and she shared an A21 success story.

This was the first time I heard about A21 – a non-profit organization that aims to end human trafficking.

Did you know that … There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labour against their will.”


Thankfully, A21 is fighting injustice through:

  • education curriculum for awareness and prevention
  • shelters for protection
  • partnerships with other organizations, and
  • legislation and actively seeking prosecution of traffickers

Consider one of the 21 ways to help

March 2015: Limbitless Solutions

It’s been a few months since I have posted here …the end of my PhD journey is advancing quickly, so my writing has been offline for awhile 🙂 But I just had to take a break and share this video from #CollectiveProject and #3DHope.

Click on the picture below to link to a video that will make you smile. 

“If you show kids that science can build confidence and change the world,
they are going to leave their mark” – Limbitless Solutions

– and it is easy to donate to #3DHope through their website:

December 2014: The Serategna Project – Orphan Care

If you recall from a few of my posts (like “Emotion” and “Favourites“), there is a very special girl who occupies a large part of my heart. Before she joined her forever family in Alberta, she was cared for by the Abenezer Orphanage Association in Addis Ababa (the capital city of Ethiopia).

Please check out the website for the Serategna Project and consider donating towards the Abenezer orphan care project. This project is a registered charity through Mission of T.E.A.R.S (Canada).

November 2014: CNIB – Seeing beyond vision loss

You may recall a post about my sister-in-law (“Beautiful Brains“). These days she is very grateful for the support she has been receiving from CNIB as she meets vision-related challenges. CNIB is a registered Canadian charity that is passionate about providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. 

Please consider supporting their efforts, or similar organisations in your community.

October 2014: Unicef and United Way

Click here for my recent post highlighting Unicef and the United Way.

September 2014 (Post 2): Mennonite Disaster Service

Since this page was quiet since June, I figured I would try to catch up and post a couple of times this month 🙂

Last summer I posted on learning about the Durksen Mennonite heritage. I also posted (below) about the work that Uncle Martin does with the Mennonite Disaster Service . Recently Uncle Martin – last week actually – celebrated the completion of a major project where he played a key hands-on leadership role:

“Two years after Staten Island, NY, was devastated by the winds and water of Hurricane Sandy, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) closed its project site on the island. During the two years of MDS response, over 1,400 volunteers cleaned up debris, mucked out homes, then rebuilt and restored homes and hope.” – 

Check out this video from their closing celebration last week in New York
(starring Uncle Martin and a grateful homeowner)

Click here to view other MDS videos on YouTube

Click here to learn more and consider helping with their projects

September 2014 (Post 1): Gaza

In Canada, the first week of September usually* represents the start of the school year.

*however this September will likely be different for some in Canadian schools
(i.e., continued teacher strike in BC will be delaying the start of this school year).

For as many years as I can remember, I have looked forward to September as a fresh new start to a new year – as a student or as a teacher. To me, September was more of a ‘happy new year’ month than January.


(also included this comic in a previous post – click here for the source)

Soon I will be experiencing my first Australian ‘Spring’ instead of a Canadian Autumn in September. This September will be quite different for me – no campus strolls through colourful falling leaves, visits to Staples (…to add to my post-it and pen collection…), or first days in new courses. Instead I anticipate campus strolls through colourful new Sydney Spring blossoms, visits to my new favourite stationary store (Typo), and embarking on a new finish-dissertation-by-March schedule.

Although I am entering a different kind of September this year, I am anticipating positive experiences. I recognize my privilege – being a Canadian living in another commonwealth country – and do not take the peaceful conditions I am accustomed to for granted.

The start of a new school year has already been delayed in Gaza so physical classroom environments (…that became bomb shelters) can be restored and additional training can be provided for teachers as they anticipate an emotional return to the classroom.

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 10.16.04 AM

The children of Gaza have/are experiencing horrific conditions that urgently require provisions of psychological support. All students deserve the love and care provided by a teacher within a safe learning environment – and my thoughts these days go to children experiencing psychological trauma in war-torn countries.

“As the 2014 school year begins, students will likely not be mentally prepared to focus on their studies; the mental toll has been massive. Local mental health workers are overwhelmed and stretched thin… UNRWA’s [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees] psychotherapy work will not only target students, but it will also apply to their teachers to ensure their well-being.”  – 27 August 2014
Read more at:

Some are raising awareness through the #rubblebucketchallenge – a new variation on the viral success of the ALS fundraising campaign #icebucketchallenge. I think awareness that leads directly to personal action (i.e., time and/or money) is crucial if we want to make a difference.

some suggest that awareness by clicking ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ on a video or message about a charity does not actually benefit charities when paired with little or no personal action (i.e., “Clicktivism”) …while others argue the opposite (click here for a recent Huffington Post article)…what do you think?

Whether or not you choose to dump a bucket of dirt on your head to publicly symbolise your awareness and concern for children living in war-torn conditions – there are many opportunities to help children and their families suffering in Gaza.

I recommend donating to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). I previously recommended a related organization (Mennonite Disaster Service) in a post below.

Click here to read about how the MCC is helping families affected by conflict in Gaza and consider getting involved (awareness + time and/or money) through this or other charitable organisations (some other links listed below).

But please – don’t stop at the click of clicktivism…

June/July/August: ALS

The pop culture charity spotlight has been on ALS awareness since June through the ALS fundraising campaign #icebucketchallenge. Hopefully you have been inspired through the viral charity expressions via social media.

April/May 2014: Cancer

  • In honour of those you know and love who have or are personally battling cancer and fear its return, please consider donating to your local cancer research society or spread awareness by sharing research findings through social media.
  • Celebrate the successes of those who move forward with hope – like this student who fought cancer through her science fair project.

March 2014: Girl Guides

My childhood was enriched through experiences as a Brownie sprite and then later as a Girl Guide. I remember learning how to:

  • braid with liquorice
  • sending a case of cookies with my dad so he could sell them at work
  • selling cookies door-to-door
  • camping
  • obsessively collecting earning all the badges.

Hmmm…I don’t braid with candy or sell cookies anymore…but I will be camping at the zoo next month (see February 2014 post below)…and as a life-long student…I am always striving to earn badge of achievement…

– Fun times with a friend and posing with my brother –

Now, when I think of Girl Guides, I picture cookies […it’s not just me, right…?].

I also proudly think of my cousin who grew up to be a “Brown Owl!”

speaking of owls…here’s some of my favourite owl photos
(York, UK – July 2013)

When packing for my move from Canada to Australia, I found my Brownie doll! I happily sent her to my “Brown Owl” cousin and her daughters.

I recall seeing my blue sash of girl guide badges a Canada […hi my name is Tracy and I used to be a packrat]. I hope to pass that on to them too one day (…the sash of badges…I promise not to pass on the packrat tendency…).

Happily passed my Brownie doll on to my “Brown Owl” cousin and her daughters 🙂

Be on the look-out for my cousin as she leads her daughters and their troupe in FUNdraising… because it is cookie time in Canada!

Here in Australia ( …we have to wait until May. I look forward to supporting Girl Guides here in Australia (and hope the ‘biscuits’ taste as good as the Canadian cookies!)

This month, I encourage you to support your local Girl Guides by buying cookies since the funds go to supporting events and programs aimed at ‘enabling girls and young women to grow into confident, self respecting, and responsible community members.’

Cookies, confidence, and caring communities – what a great recipe!

February 2014: Taronga Zoo

So far I have highlighted ten charities that work to improve the well-being of people. I now want to take the opportunity to highlight a non-profit organization that helps care for others we share this beautiful planet with: the animals!

As mentioned in my last post (Time Flies), I am really enjoying all the sights of Australia and just love seeing and learning about all the different animals. A touristy-must-see here in Sydney is the Taronga Zoo – one of the first places I had on my newcomer bucket list!

Although the zoo is accessible by car, we chose to travel by ferry – just a 15-minute ride that floats past the iconic bridge and Sydney Opera House. We enjoyed a full day there and are eager to return again…so much so…we bought annual zoo memberships 🙂

At Taronga Zoo – This was my first time seeing a koala and a kangaroo!

Taronga Zoo is a non-profit organization committed to local and global conservation efforts. All proceeds they collect (admission rates, programs, donations) go to the care of animals here and around the world.

I have always loved zoos, yet it seems the topic can bring up controversy. So out of curiosity (…and to maintain a clear conscience for carrying my ‘Zoo Friends’ membership card in my wallet…), I looked into the ethics of zoos.*

*If you are interested, follow this link for a
Q & A post called Discussing the ethics of zoos
(The Veterinarian Magazine, August 2013).

Thankfully…Taronga is considered to be one of the world’s best zoos!

It often seems that mainstream media coverage increases when something deemed controversial occurs within a zoo. This is necessary – especially if a zoo is not operating in the best interests of the animals….but focusing on the practices of ‘bad zoos’ is just an unbalanced way of educating the public on animal welfare.

But even Taronga – one of the ‘good zoos’ –
has made the news for unfortunate circumstances.

As a [non-expert] animal-loving, card-carrying supporter of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, I can say that I have been satisfied by the media statements they release in response to the odd negative report. I also appreciate how they take each opportunity to educate the public when responding to questions. 

Thanks to social media and websites, zoos like Taronga can educate the public directly with positive reports and immediately address any negative attention or concerns. I am particularly encouraged by the ethical standards posted on their website.

If you want to get involved in the care and conservation of animals,
may I suggest:

  • donating time or money to your local organizations that helps animals
  • increasing awareness about local and global conservation efforts
  • learning about your local ethically run zoo or animal recovery centre
  • taking a field trip!

Speaking of field trips…I took the following picture while at the zoo and
I’m super excited to say that in a couple of months…on my 40th birthday
[okay, so I’m not excited to say that I’m turning 40…]
this is how I am going to celebrate:

Every year since I was born on my mom’s birthday,
we have celebrated our shared birthday together.
This year she is travelling all the way here from Canada to keep our tradition!
…and this year we are going to sleepover at the zoo!
It’s quite a pricey birthday party…
yet what a way to celebrate a milestone birthday with my mom

(also helps knowing that the proceeds will go to the animals)

Click here if you would like to read a travel article from CNN
about Taronga Zoo’s Roar and Snore!

January 2014: Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation

This is my 10th Charity Spotlight!
I hope to highlight a different charity each month this year.

I recently looked at the website for The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation – “an organization dedicated to helping inner city youth reach their full potential in life.” I have blogged in the past about celebrities who use their status to draw attention to specific issues or causes (see my post “6 Degrees”). From what I have briefly read, I have to say I really appreciate how Mark […okay so we’re not on a first name basis…] actually ‘walks the talk.’ Through his foundation, he encourages inner city youth to stay in school and graduate – and he recently earned his high school diploma! (Read his story via Huffington post here: Winning my toughest role). His foundation also provides funding for organizations like the Boys and Girls Club (I have fond childhood memories of hanging out at a local BG club with my brother). I love learning of people and organizations that encourage young people (I posted a bit on this topic here: “Vulnerability“).

Whether you are a celebrity or not and whether it’s a Boys and Girls Club or a charity like the ones on this page, I really do believe […sorry…this is very cliché …] every person can find a way to make a difference in at least one other person’s life. 

I found out about Mark Wahlberg’s charity via “Research Wahlberg” (@ResearchMark) on Twitter.

Wait? What?
Mark Wahlberg – the 90s rapper, model, turned actor and producer…is also a researcher?

Well, no…
Not that I know of, but then again…we all do some sort of research in our everyday life, don’t we…and an actor or actress often talks about “researching” the part…?

@ResearchMark is a humorous novelty account that tries to summarize research efforts and woes, and tweets out statistical encouragement– while using photos of Mark Wahlberg. Although @ResearchMark on Twitter is not ‘the real’ Mark Wahlberg (…or is he…?), I quite enjoy how the account promotes the identity of someone well-known (in a positive light – which seems rare when the identity is a celebrity…) while also being witty, educational, and encouraging.

Twitter, like Facebook and blogging, is about the promotion of an identity through social networking. In my online posts, I am trying to share a ‘professional-and-not-too-personal’ digital glimpse of who I am and about who I want to be
– with less (…ideally, nothing) about what I think others want to hear.

When I joined Twitter last year, I sought to define my ‘digital identity’ through my interests – so I started a “following list” of individuals or organizations with interests in education and/or psychology and/or research. I wasn’t sure what I would post about or if I would just lurk and not even post at all. At the time, it seemed like one [more] way to keep up-to-date on related news and opinions.

I expanded my list to include conferences and experimented with #hashtags as I noticed conference organizers, presenters, and participants were posting on-site via Twitter. If you are interested in reading “Ten Tips for Tweeting at Conferences” by Brian Croxall via ProfHacker (The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2014), click here.

My list continues to expand and includes a number of PhD-related Twitter accounts (like @PhD2Published). I also follow a few charity organizations, some I have mentioned here in this space  – I think I will follow the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation (@WahlbergYouth) now too.

Thanks @ResearchMark for spreading the word about @WahlbergYouth – and for the laughs 🙂

My first Twitter-related celebrity encounter! Mark Wahlberg […okay maybe it was his Twitter people] acknowledged me via Twitter!
– and @ResearchMark added me to his ‘following list’ 


October 2013: Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

I am thankful and fortunate to be in love in a safe and healthy marriage. One where:

love is more than the three words mumbled before bedtime…[where]
love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for
each other every day
– Nicholas Sparks1

So it breaks my heart and saddens me to think of those living in homes ruled by unsafe and unhealthy relationships.

It is important to gain awareness of this issue since 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime…1 in 4

In reading the Facts about Violence, I was reminded that violence against women “happens in all cultures and religions, in all ethnic and racial communities, at every age, and in every income group.

However, “younger women were most at risk of violent victimization… with the police-reported rate of violent crime against women aged 15 to 24 being 42% higher than the rate for women aged 25 to 34, and nearly double the rate for women aged 35 to 44” (

I recently submitted a co-authored manuscript (Supporting the transition of Aboriginal families to Edmonton, Alberta: Implications for practice) where among other reasons, we cite domestic violence as one commonly reported motivation for Aboriginal women to choose to move from a reserve or settlement to an urban centre like Edmonton.

In a recent report from the Parliament of Canada (2011), Call Into the Night: An Overview of Violence Against Aboriginal Women, stories and stats show that: “Aboriginal people are much more likely than non-Aboriginal people to be victims of violent crime and spousal violence. Statistics Canada reports that 24% of Aboriginal women reported being victims of spousal violence in 2004, more than three times higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal women (7%).”2

…and from the Facts about Violence webpage: “Aboriginal women (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) are more than eight times more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than non-Aboriginal women.”

So, what can you do?

1. Be aware and speak out: Report domestic violence by calling 911

A billboard – displaying an image similar to the one posted below – was a common sight in a LRT station in Edmonton. It is a disturbing sight – and so it should be…

I applaud the Edmonton Police Service (and am very proud to have a friend on the force) for launching their Speak Out campaign when they found a 30% increase in violence from 2011 to 2012. I am pleased that this campaign also included distributing resources to schools. (Click here to read a November 2012 news article about the launch and to view clips from awareness commercials).

2. Donate to your local women’s shelter

Two days ago (October 22) there was an article in the Edmonton Journal reporting on a women’s shelter – that catered to women new to Canada and victims of human trafficking – shutting down due to lack of funding (read the article here).

Please consider donating to the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (Canadian Registered Charity) through

Quote retrieved from DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

2 House of Commons, Canada (2011, March). Call into the night: An overview of violence against Aboriginal women [Interim Report]. 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. Standing Committee on the Status of Women, Public Works and Government Services Canada. Available at The Parliament of Canada website:

September 2013: K-12 Curriculum: Microfinancing can help alleviate poverty

Have you heard of Kiva? A friend of mine introduced me to Kiva a couple of years ago:

Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. –

This week, I was thrilled to read the Education Week’s article on the launch of K-12 curriculum on microfinance by Kiva U!

Wonder what ‘microfinance’ is all about? Check out this 2 min youtube video for an introduction and consider donating today!

Microfinance is a general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services. Microfinance is also the idea that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services. While some studies indicate that microfinance can play a role in the battle against poverty, it is also recognized that is not always the appropriate method, and that it should never be seen as the only tool for ending poverty. – For more details visit: 

July 2013: Disaster Relief, Fair Trade, and Students in Nepal

As mentioned in my recent post, I have been learning about the Durksen Mennonite heritage. For example, I loved talking with Uncle Martin and am proud of how he is actively involved with the Mennonite Disaster Service .


I invite you to consider donating to MDS – particularly in light of the recent flooding disaster that occurred close to home here in Alberta.

I also learned that ‘Ten Thousand Villages’ has a Mennonite history. I was first introduced to this store by a friend – whose husband works for Samaritan’s Purse (another international organization involved in great works around the world, including disaster recovery in Alberta).

UPDATE: To learn more about my friend’s work with students in Nepal (PAHS in Nepal mentioned below) – click here to view her brief video and consider offering your support. Thanks!

April 2013: Global and Local Ideas

Vote for PAHS in Nepal research application video
and support Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre & The Mustard Seed

This month I am attending and presenting at the American Educational Research Association conference in San Francisco. The theme of the conference this year is “Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy and Praxis.”

As mentioned in previous posts (like Vulnerability  and Community), I am concerned with the poverty-related stresses experienced by marginalized populations. I was quite sheltered growing up (and may be viewed as winning the “birthright lottery”) but taking college courses – a privilege I accessed in the only city I knew for the first 20 years of my life – really helped broaden my perspective.

I enjoyed 3 anthropology courses taught by one of my ‘favourite’ professors – other favourites mentioned  here 🙂 – Inge Bolin. Her applied passion was contagious and I learned so much through her stories – it seemed as though she spent most of May to August each year helping the indigenous people in Peru with life-sustaining medical, educational, and ecological projects.

Flickr Creative Commons Credit: Creative Commons Credit:

I will never forget the impact one of her course assignments had on my worldview. In retrospect, I believe it was my first attempt at research because my paper was based on my experiences as an outsider within a context-specific situation (an amateur form of ethnography). Although her stories revolved around struggles experienced by people faraway in Peru, her courses also opened my eyes to local poverty issues.

I volunteered to serve breakfast and pack lunches once a week at the 7-10 Club in order to ‘gain’ material for my anthropology research paper…but quickly gained so much more! The lens through which I view humanity was forever altered that year. I was unprepared for – and saddened by – the number of children I met whose school-day nutritious needs depended on the 7-10 program and dedicated volunteers. The number of adults with mental health issues also overwhelmed me – and fuelled my subsequent volunteer activities and completion of an undergraduate degree in psychology.

This month, I want to highlight a few (of many!) champions who are dedicated to helping people with poverty-related issues.


  • My friend Dr. Jane Gair is an ‘academic without borders’ who is committed to helping ‘close the rural/urban health care gap in poor countries.’ I met her colleague Carol-Ann a few years ago at a conference and have been inspired by the work they have been doing together to develop a medical school in Nepal. Meet Carol-Ann by clicking here and viewing the video clip, and then please click the ‘like this application’ button (beneath the video) to vote for their Grand Challenges Canada funding application. (Click here to see Jane’s previously blogged adventures in Nepal).


  • As mentioned (in past blog posts), I was engaged in community-based research aimed at revealing best practices when supporting low-income families’ access to health, family support, and recreation services in Edmonton (see Families First Edmonton for more information). Last week I had the opportunity to offer hands-on help at an important organization in Edmonton – the Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre. Click here to view more information about the centre and consider donating your time or money.
  • In March, I mentioned The Mustard Seed (of Victoria and Edmonton) because they help support and feed individuals and families who are in need. I wish to highlight The Mustard Seed again because a friend of ours was just hired (Congratulations, W.D!) and starts at the Edmonton location this month! Please consider donating your time or money to The Mustard Seed or other like-minded organizations in your local community this month.

March 2013: Celebrate Pi Day!

Support the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and
 Mustard Seed

Tomorrow (March 14th or 3.14) is Pi Day – celebrated by ‘mathletes’ around the world ( ).
Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter…and whenever I see the word circumference, I am reminded of a math story book “Sir Cumference and the First Round Table.

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 7.20.44 PM

I wasn’t aware of “Pi Day” until surprised by a school visit from the Order of Pi. Although the first couple of years teaching are challenging, I wasn’t expecting a pie in the face! (view recent information on the Order of Pi here).

I enjoyed hearing the Inquisitor read out the charges – and then I heard my name…I can’t remember the charges but I was found guilty and deserving of the farm-fresh wrath of a cream pie (a fellow teacher paid $20 to lay charges against me – and the only way I could escape judgement was to offer at least $5 to the Counsellor). I was ‘executed’ with a ‘sacred pie of justice’ from the ‘bakery of righteousness’ in front of my students in a school assembly 🙂 Each year, the University of Victoria’s Engineering Student Society pull together the Order of Pi as a humorous and tasty fundraiser for children’s charities.

This week, funds raised by the Order of Pi will help the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. If donating a minimum of $20 to ‘charge someone’ with a lighthearted offence deserving of a cream pie through the Order of Pi website (here), $2 for each pie ordered will go to the Victoria Mustard Seed!

You can donate freely (without fear of pie execution) through Canada Helps (here). You can also learn more about supporting The Mustard Seed in Alberta (here).

March 2013: Canadian Mental Health Association

Last week I was at the Greater Edmonton Teachers’ Convention asking teachers if they would kindly take 10 minutes to complete a survey developed by our research group (ACME). Our booth was alongside many exhibits – one of which was the Canadian Mental Health Association. I think mental health classroom resources are incredibly important for teachers. For example, CMHA in Edmonton provides a series of presentations through a school program calledLight up your mind.’ I have been a long time supporter of CMHA and believe strongly in the valuable programs offered.

I hope you will consider learning more about the CMHA branch in your neighbourhood.

When living in BC, it was a humbling privilege to be a facilitator and coordinator for Rainbows, a grief support program (offered through some CMHA branches) for children suffering a significant loss or experiencing a difficult transition. I was also honoured to serve on the CMHA board of directors for the Cowichan branch at a time when the Warmland House and Outreach Program was approved. I fondly remember the groundbreaking ceremony and am thrilled that Warmland House is standing strong and continues to help those in need of basic and psychological support. I was able to tour the facility during the grand opening, and look forward to the opportunity to visit once again and witness all the growth in programs offered – and growth in the community garden! Below is a brief interview about the Warmland House community garden:

February 2013: Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation

For the past 14 months, I have followed the family story of a high school friend. I have fond memories of time spent together in our high school drama group “The Company.” But the drama/trauma that her family (has) is experiencing has placed her family in the company of the caring team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. If you would like to read “Braeden’s Journey” and see a photo of her son’s smiling face, click here to visit her Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation donation page.

Update: Lucas and his family are also raising money for ACH because they are thankful for the loving care they receive. I met Lucas’ parents when I was living in BC – click here to see The Castle’s donation page and a lovely father and son picture.

Donations to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation will fund excellence in family centred child health programs, specialized life-saving equipment and advanced pediatric research. 


January 2013: PEDAL Foundation

As mentioned in my recent post, my family is currently grieving the loss of my beautiful young cousin – whose time with us was too short. Family and friends will honour her life in many ways. One way recommended by her mother is for donations to be made in Brea’s memory to a charity organization called PEDAL Foundation (

For more information, here is my “In memory of Brea Garner” Giving Page through the Canada Helps website:


December 2012: Edmonton Dream Centre

UPDATE: The total amount reached was $1745.00! Thanks to everyone who donated! 

Please consider helping the Edmonton Dream Centre expand their facility. For more information, please visit the giving page on Canada Helps by following this link ( by clicking on the image below. My husband and I pledge to match each $1 donated through our giving page.

(To read my recent blog post about this centre, click here)

Thank you for considering this request.

(Canada Helps is a secure site that provides tax receipts)

canada helps