Tis the season to help others in our community

A listing of organizations that rarely get mentioned that need your support

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year seems like a vast understatement. Many have lost jobs, loved ones, and in some cases, their homes. These issues have also profoundly affected people with disabilities but are rarely mentioned in the news. We often hear about mental health issues among the homeless and people on low income. We hardly hear about people with disabilities that also may be struggling.

With the holiday season fast approaching and the season of giving, I wanted to take the time to mention local organizations that also help people with disabilities and need your donations to continue helping others.

Just a quick note.

All of the organizations that I’ll be listing have either helped me personally or friends of mine, either with mental health support, funding of much needed medical equipment, or other means.

Counselling and Family Services Ottawa (CFS Ottawa)

In addition to one-on-one counselling, CFS also provides a wide range of support programs for individuals and families, regardless of age, race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, income, and political affiliation.

All of their locations are wheelchair accessible.

As a long-time CFS user, I can honestly say that they’ve been there for me when I needed them.

Website: https://cfsottawa.ca/home/

Muscular Dystrophy Canada

MDC has been helping me for almost my entire life. Whether it was offering support for my family or paying for my wheelchair and other adaptive devices, MDC has been there for myself and those with Neuromuscular disorders. Proceeds also go to help find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy.

Website: https://muscle.ca/

Easter Seals

Since 1922, Easter Seals has provided support for children with physical disabilities and their families. Such support includes funding for equipment, resources for parents, recreation programs, summer camps & much more. Easter Seals have helped several of my friends.

Website: https://www.easterseals.org/ or https://www.eastersealscamps.org/

March Of Dimes

In the beginning, March Of Dimes begun as an organization to help find a cure for Polio. Once Dr. Jonas Salk created a Polio vaccine, the March Of Dimes turned their attention to helping people with disabilities.

Services include funding for assistive devices, peer support groups, attendant care services, services for people with brain injuries, and much more.

Website: https://www.marchofdimes.ca/en-ca

Ottawa Rotary Home

Being a parent or caregiver of a person with a disability can be stressful at times. The Ottawa Rotary Home offers respite for parents and caregivers.

While I’ve never personally stayed there, I know many families that benefitted from the services of Rotary Home.

Website: https://rotaryhome.on.ca/about-us/about-the-rotary-home/

Somerset West Community Health Centre

The SWCHC offers a wide range of people living in the community.

Services include counselling those with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, abuse, workplace stress, living with chronic pain & illness.

They also provide various health services for those in the community that have substance issues, newcomers, new Mothers, and much more. https://www.swchc.on.ca/

Additional ways to help our community

Many of you may not be able to donate money or volunteer. In that case, I encourage you to donate used clothing, non-perishable food items, or toys. If you’re looking to get rid of things, there’s a pretty good chance that it’ll be put to good use by an organization or an individual that needs it.

If you’re still looking for a good cause/organization to donate to, take a look around your community. What do you see? Think about what YOU can do for your community.

Even if it may seem like a small gesture to you, it’ll mean the world to someone else. You can even offer a free coffee to someone, perhaps even a stranger.

We’ve all had a pretty crappy year. I think we all need to come together in our communities, help each other, spread some love and positivity.

Together, we can make 2021 a year of recovering, healing, and eventually celebrating.

Photo: iStock