As the year’s end brings much fun and delicacies, it’s also a good time to reflect on the contributions made by many associations and organizations in the territory.
Many depend on donations and volunteers to provide essential services to some of the most vulnerable people in the Yukon.
Whitehorse Food Bank
Every month the Whitehorse Food Bank feeds an estimated 1,350 people.
December is usually a good month for donations, said Tristan Newsome, the food bank’s executive director.
“But we stretch that throughout the rest of the year.”
What the food bank really needs is monthly donations, even $10, he said.
“Then we’re able to budget and we can purchase accordingly.”
Volunteers can help stock the shelves or divide up bags of rice, for example.
Donations can be made online at whitehorsefoodbank.ca.
The Whitehorse branch of the Salvation Army runs the Black Street shelter, which provides lunches, and also manages a halfway house near the airport.
This year’s Christmas Kettle Campaign raised $88,000, nearly 15 per cent more than the campaign’s goal of $77,000.
That’s a major improvement over last Saturday, when executive director Ian Mackenzie said the fundraiser was $16,000 behind.
“We are so grateful to the people of Whitehorse for their incredible generosity,” McKenzie said in a statement this morning.
“Demand for our services is up about 20 per cent over last year and these additional funds will go a long way to helping us meet the need in our community.”
Last year the Sally Ann served 72,000 meals.
People can donate money, food, or even their time for lunch preparation.
To donate online, visit salvationarmy.ca.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters Yukon
BBBSY offers mentoring to children in the territory.
“Our goal is to see that every child in the Yukon who needs a mentor has a mentor,” said Bonnie Gingras, BBBSY executive director.
Donations are helpful, she said, but the organization needs volunteers first and foremost.
“There are lots of kids who are waiting for a mentor,” she said.
“We’re also trying to grow our capacity and support more matches.”
To donate visit bbbsofyukon.ca.
Whitehorse’s Committee on Abuse in Residential Schools (CAIRS)
Whitehorse’s CAIRS is a drop-in centre for survivors of residential schools and their families. It also offers workshops and educational programs to teach people about the history and legacy of residential schools.
“We haven’t gotten any donations this year but we’ve gotten them (in the past),” said Joanne Henry, the executive director. The association runs on other sources of funding.
People can make donations in person at the CAIRS office at 4040 Fourth Avenue.
Victoria Faulkner Women Centre
The Victoria Faulkner Women Centre provides a drop-in centre, a woman’s advocate, a community kitchen and different workshops.
It provides services for an estimated 5,000 women, girls and children every year.
“We’re always in need of cash donations,” said Sarah Murphy, the centre’s program coordinator.
“For the centre in general, we’re always looking for volunteers for the Wednesday community kitchen.”
More information is available at vfwomenscentre.com.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY)
FASSY supports Yukoners with FASD, helping them navigate different services, including finding housing.
It also works to prevent FASD through education and providing pregnancy tests.
To make a donation or volunteer, visit fassy.org.
Blood Ties Four Directions Centre
Blood Ties offer harm reduction programs, STI education including free condoms, counselling for people with HIV/ Hepatitis C, and support groups for drug users, among many other services.
Blood Ties needs donations and volunteers to maintain its programs.
To donate money or time, visit bloodties.ca and search for the membership shop under “Contact Us.”
Contact Pierre Chauvin at email@example.com