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Giving Back: Resources to Help Edmonton’s Less Fortunate

Posted on December 16, 2016 by

Edmonton’s winters are often unforgiving (as has been more than clear these last couple of weeks with this extreme cold and wind), which puts the city’s less fortunate at even more of a disadvantage. According to Homeward Trust, Edmonton’s homeless population was at an estimated 1,752 in 2016, which is down 24% from 2014 but there is still a long way to go.

Thankfully, the warm hearts of Edmonton help make the season brighter for those people and especially around the holidays, there are a lot of ways to help out. The need for resources for homeless and disadvantaged people have been in the news a lot lately (Hope Mission having 24/7 beds or deaths given the cold weather). Here is a list of some resources to help fellow Edmontonians out this winter (and year-round!).

 

WHERE YOU CAN VOLUNTEER

Many of the city’s shelters and organizations wouldn’t be running without the countless hours volunteered by Edmontonians. As such, most of them are always looking for volunteers for a wide-range of positions (both year-round and seasonal around holiday events).

 

WHERE YOU CAN DONATE 

Most shelters and organizations in Edmonton that help at-risk populations also accept donations, but demand for food at Edmonton’s Food Bank has surged this year and the cold weather has left the shelves at the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society, in large part, empty. Both of these organizations work with other agencies in the city to provide resources to the homeless. So drop off food, clean out your closet, or make a monetary donation to these organizations!

 

OTHER WAYS TO HELP 

  • Call 2-1-1 if you see a homeless person in distress or are looking for information about other services. The people at 2-1-1 in Edmonton will get in touch with services and agencies in the city to help those at-risk. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Shovel your neighbour’s sidewalk! It’s a simple way to help out the elderly or people with mobility issues in your community. Check out programs here!
  • Research reputable organizations in the city to donate your money and time to. With our office located in downtown, panhandling is a common sight but EPS and the City ask people to consider donating money to the organizations in the city that help these at-risk people instead. We interviewed 104 Street’s community liaison with the EPS in 2015 about this.

There are a vast variety of organizations in the city that run year-round and this list is in no way exhaustive, but gives some great ideas of ways you can give back during the holiday season (Homeward Trust has a very comprehensive guide of shelters, centers, and organizations in Edmonton here). With cold weather seeming to be here to stay this time, don’t forget to open your heart and lend a hand to those who need it most!

Valentine’s Day in Edmonton

Posted on February 5, 2016 by

Well… it is that time of the year again. The inevitable month of February, when loving your significant other every day of the year means nothing unless Valentine’s Day is perfect. I am here to act as your new-age Cupid and bring you a variety of fun ideas to make this V-Day one for the books. Whether you have a significant other or not, I’ve got you covered. Here are my top ideas of things to do in and around Edmonton.

If you are meeting your Tinder match for the first time, I highly recommend a date in a public setting. A visit to the Humane Society will see how they act with animals; are they a cat person, a dog person, or a straight up sociopath? If you really want to see their competitive side, I would recommend checking out one of Edmonton’s local board game cafes, like The Hex Boardgame Cafe.

If the dates have gone great, but it is too soon to tell how serious the relationship will get (and you don’t want to spend too much money; tough economy, tough times — I get it), but you are ready to take that next step to get to know them better, I would suggest going to Rosie’s on Friday for a Karaoke night. You truly don’t know someone until you see them belt out their favourite hits. Want to see what makes them laugh? Check out Rapid Fire Theatre’s Improv.

Take things to the next level by going on a mini road trip to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Cochrane; a definite step up from the initial dates at the Humane Society.

For all my single people out there, have fun at the Axe Hole, attend one of Edmonton’s local brewery tours (like Yellowhead or Alley Kat), and go to Denizen Hall to play a variety of vintage arcade games.

Treat-yo-self and treat-yo-loved-ones.