stay different. stay real.

Plan Your Charitable Donations Now!

Well Christmas is over, the New Year has begun and most of us have already broken some if not all of our resolutions. Actually I haven’t – as I wrote earlier this month I chose resolutions that I knew I could keep – is that cheating?

Anyway, I was reviewing the Accent Facebook page ( today to catch up on any stories I missed over the holiday period and saw a photo of John Espley and Marc Paradis from Accent Inns and Hotel Zed taking pledges for CFAX Santa’s Anonymous campaign. Accent Inns is a great supporter of charitable organizations and events at all its locations; Richmond, Burnaby, Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna and at Christmas they are extra busy.

A lot of people donate both money and time at Christmas, but what happens in January? There is a massive fall off of support, that’s what. It’s understandable of course; all those credit cards landing with a thwump in the mail and we’re all fighting to catch up after the holiday season and lose weight and … and…

John Espley & Marc Paradis

That got me thinking about what we (the Royal we) might be able to offer in these wintery first few days of the year. And, what we can do to plan our charitable giving in advance?

Here are six ideas you might want to consider:

  1. Did you get too many socks as presents, did you get two of the same book? Did you get something that doesn’t suit you but don’t want to ask Aunt Joan for the receipt so you can take it back? Well don’t shove it to the back of your closet and forget about it, consider donating it to a local cause, or drop it off at a Thrift store.
  2. If you got a lot of swag at Christmas, can you clear out some older, but still serviceable clothing that someone less fortunate might make use of?
  3. While you’re in your closet, is there anything you haven’t worn for a couple of years but is still in excellent condition? If you haven’t worn it in two-years – donate it!
  4. January is a tough month for the food banks and one easy way to make a difference is to purchase a pre-filled bag of groceries at your local grocery store. Many stores offer these and it’s a quick and easy way to help someone feed their family. If you can’t afford one of those, most stores allow you to add a buck or two to your bill for a charitable cause.
  5. Volunteering can be another way to support those less fortunate. There are masses of opportunities to help – choose something that you will enjoy, as that way you will be more likely to keep up with it.
  6. Make giving painless by committing to a set amount per month. If you are good at always paying your credit card off at the end of each month, this can be a great way to ensure you are giving every month. Most of us can afford $10 or $20 a month on our credit card. After awhile you won’t even miss it. If you can afford more that’s great, but every little helps – no matter the amount.

Thinking ahead about how and when we’ll support our preferred charities makes sense. Planning so that we give, or help out, all year round makes our support that much more valuable. People in need, are in need 365-days a year (366 in 2020!) so the more we can make our commitment, whatever it might be, spread out throughout the year the better.

The Editor:

Need some recommendations for charitable organizations that you can support?

Look into your local homeless shelters and United Way chapter

Visit Foodbanks BC to find your local foodbanks

Visit Accent Inns Community Partner page for ideas…

Mike Wicks