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Flex Those Philanthropic Muscles

Flex your philanthropic muscles -- giving back, even when you're broke

10 Ways to Give Back, Even When You’re Broke

You dream of a better world, a world without poverty, racism, sexism, cancer, etc....

You know there are plenty of great organizations that work hard to try and make a change for the better, that are fighting to resolve even the smallest injustice in your community. And you want to help, too.

Only one problem... you’re broke.

So, what do you do?

Do you resign yourself to the fact that, while people fight for change, you fight to make your rent and maybe occasionally enjoy a drink with friends? Are you so busy trying to make your hustle, side hustle, and side-side hustle work that you’re simply too overwhelmed to focus on anything else?


If this sounds like you, don’t worry. There’s plenty of ways for you to flex your philanthropic muscles in your everyday life without breaking the (already-broken) bank.

10 simple acts of kindness that go a long way:

  1. Take somebody else’s shift, or stay late at the office for a coworker so they can spend time with a loved one.

  2. Help a stranger dig their car out of the snow.

  3. Pick up a package of new underwear or feminine hygiene products when you’re at Walmart and donate them to a local shelter (make sure the item goes to the appropriate shelter, i.e. children’s underwear to a family shelter).

  4. Invite a coworker out for a walk when they’re going through a hard time.

  5. Prepare an easily-frozen meal for a friend after a big life event (like having a baby, the death of a close family member, or even if they’ve broken their arm).

  6. Donate any extra blankets or pet treats you may have to a local animal shelter.

  7. Offer to do donation pick-ups and drop-offs for a charity.

  8. Bring a tray of treats to those that have to work on holidays (like nurses or firefighters).

  9. Offer a listening ear to someone that needs to be heard.

  10. Run errands or do chores for a friend in need.

Most of these acts involve a little time, and some involve a little money, but they are all designed to make things a little easier, a little happier, and a little more functional for the people around you. Never underestimate the impact of even the smallest act of kindness or philanthropy.

Although your long-term goal may be to end hunger or to make sure no child ever has to grow up alone, it may be a while before you have the means to fully support organizations that share your vision for a better future. But offering the gift of your time, or even a few dollars, go a long way, too!

What’s your favourite way to show a little kindness in the community? Let us know in the comments!

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Does High Self-Esteem Help Children Learn?

Self-esteem has a huge impact on your child's performance in the classroom

Why Going to School With Your Head Held High Really Matters

Remember Kurt, the little boy that said he didn’t like art simply because he was tired of colouring with his only two colouring pencils? Kurt was embarrassed by his lack of school supplies that all the other kids seemed to have. But what if a lack of school tools caused more than just embarrassment? What if, by starting out the school year with less, Kurt was actually being held back in his education?

Throughout our Sharing in Student Success program, we always talk about children going back to school with their heads held high, but does that really matter? Can confidence and self-esteem actually help students learn? Research suggests it can.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is your evaluation of your own worth. It’s your perception of yourself—it may or may not reflect how others see you. At times, high self-esteem may be a sign of arrogance, and low self-esteem may reflect huge insecurities or a sense of inferiority.

Can Self-Esteem Change Your Behaviour?

In short, yes. Self-esteem is founded on belief, and peoples’ beliefs shape their actions. Even at the age of 5, the way you see yourself can have a huge effect on how you act.

We all know that people respond differently when put in the same situation. One of the reasons for this are differences in levels of self-esteem.

Self-esteem changes behaviour




Self-Esteem in the Classroom

Although high self-esteem does not directly boost performance on an assignment or classroom task, it encourages persistence. This means that somebody who feels confident in their own worth is more willing to try again after a failure. In other words, people with high self-esteem aren’t quitters.

There are other perks of high self-esteem, too. For example, people with high self-esteem report being happier than those with low self-esteem. They are also more willing to speak up in a group and ask questions. This, combined with persistence, can lead to higher performance in the classroom.

An Equal Foot

It is our priority to give children the tools they need to succeed throughout the school year. On top of that, we want to make sure every child is motivated and excited to participate in the classroom. That’s why we not only work with the school boards to make sure the children on our list have the supplies they need for the year, but we also help provide them with a backpack, so they can walk with dignity and pride into the classroom.

How You Can Help

With cost of living higher than ever, and with many Syrian newcomers in Ottawa needing a little extra assistance, the need for programs like SISS are higher than ever. We saw a dramatic increase in registrants in 2016, and we received an outpouring of love and generosity from the community to help us meet the need.

By donating to programs that support students, you can help children in your community start on an equal foot with their peers. An investment in the education of young people is an investment in the future.

How do you support children in your community? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Helping Children go Back to School

Help children in need go back to school Ottawa

Why We Share in Student Success

“I forgot my pencil.”

Kurt, aged 7, seems to forget his pencil every day. Come to think of it, he never has a glue stick either. He’s probably just lazy and doesn’t want to learn.

What Kurt’s teacher doesn’t know is the shame Kurt feels every time he has to ask to borrow a pencil or piece of paper. In fact, Kurt says he hates art simply because he’s tired of making pictures with his red and blue colouring pencils—his only colouring pencils.

Every year, over two thousand students in Ottawa return to school without the tools they need to learn. Like Kurt, they experience shame whenever they are held behind simply because they are not equipped to succeed like their peers. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Last year, the Caring and Sharing Exchange provided 2,065 children with backpacks fully equipped with grade-appropriate school supplies—everything they needed for a successful year at school. And this year, we want to do it again.

A Gift of Dignity and Hope

With your help, we can ensure another 2,000+ children return to school with their heads held high, ready to learn. We kindly ask that you make a donation to support this year’s Sharing in Student Success program. Your gift will grant dignity to a child in need in your community, offering them the hope to succeed for another school year.

Help Ottawa children succeed!

Your Gift Truly Makes a Difference

We often receive letters of thanks from grateful parents of the children we provide assistance for. Here is one we’d like to share with you:

“As parents, we appreciated so much your warm-hearted offer of a backpack filled with school supplies last summer. I’d like to say, ‘Thank you so much!’

“Your backpack has accompanied our son every day, going to and from school in the last year. Every inch of progress my son has made was helped by the contributions of your fantastic Sharing in Student Success program!”

Grateful parents of a backpack recipient

Helping Eliminate Duplication of Assistance Across Ottawa

Our Co-ordination Service eliminates duplicate applications in programs provided by us and our 250+ partner agencies across the city. By performing duplicate checks, we have managed to save the Ottawa community over $2.5 million in just four years. This level of accountability ensures your gift goes further, helping those in the community that truly need it.

Make Your Gift Today

To help us provide every child in need this year with a backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies, please kindly make a donation online. You can also make your gift over the phone by calling 613-226-6434 ext. 5.

Every dollar counts.

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