We all have a hard time getting back to normal after the holidays. But for local charities, things are especially tough this time of year.

During the festive season, people are in the giving spirit and donations are much more abundant. However, once January arrives, the donations decline drastically as people tighten their budgets to recover from holiday spending.

It’s important to keep that giving spirit going all year round.

Here are a few ways you can get involved and help keep these programs running strong throughout the year.

1. Volunteering

If you can’t afford to donate to your favorite charities, why not give your time? From helping to sort food at the food bank, to spending time with pets at an animal shelter, there are all kinds of charity organizations in Victoria that need volunteers.

Here are a few ideas to check out:

2. Make your money count.

When you’re buying goods and services you need anyways, why not look for businesses that give back? It’s a great way to help out, especially if you don’t have time to volunteer or can’t afford a cash donation on your own.

You Move Me Vancouver Island has partnered with the Mustard Seed food bank to help them get through the slow season. When you move, they’ll take any small boxes of donated food items or kitchen supplies and deliver them to The Mustard Seed.

For one donated box, You Move Me will take $50 off of the move, and for each additional box donated you’ll get $50 gift cards you can pay forward to a friend or use on a future move. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can donate your $50 off back to the Mustard Seed to help fund their newly expanded donations warehouse.

Another option is Heirloom Linens through its 12 Months of Giving program, the company donates a percentage of the proceeds from a different product line (sheets, duvets, pillows, towels etc) each month to a local charity that doesn’t get national attention – the idea being that the funds and exposure for the charity will benefit those local organizations most in need.To date, the company has donated over $70,000 to local charities.

The program started with Heirloom Linens holding an annual garage sale of slightly damaged or donated items sold at a giant yard sale with 100% of the proceeds going to Victoria Hospice.

3. Make a donation.

If you can spare a few bucks or have extra stuff to get rid of after the holiday season, donations are always appreciated by charities and community organizations.

Shelters are always in need of warm clothing during the winter months, so this is the best place to take your old clothes.

For housewares and furniture items, you can donate them to organizations that help set people up in new homes, such as Victoria Women in Need.

Some agencies like Our Place Society prefer cash donations because they can stretch those dollars further to help more people.

 

~ Written by Sarah Robinson for Victoria Buzz