Finally, some good news! And you only had to sit through 363 days of this year to get it!
Thankfully, GoFundMe.com and Change.org have lots of good news to report, sharing with HuffPost Canada some of the touching, generous and kind-hearted ways Canadians created change over the past year.
By signing petitions and donating money, people supported grieving families, rallied around the environment, and helped less fortunate people from coast to coast.
We've broken down some of the kind and helpful campaigns by region. Keep being awesome in 2019, Canada.
- Gerard Aucoin, a Newfoundland farmer and member of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation, found his 123-year-old family farm in peril after the Town of Kippens issued a stop-work order for the Aucoin Family Farm to make way for a residential development. A Change.org petition garnered almost 23,000 signatures in support of saving the family farm, and eventually, Kippens town council rescinded the order.
- Perth, Ont., resident Sandra Abdee-Niblock had never met Toronto Maple Leafs superfan Mick Roberts before, but was touched by his ardent support for the team. She mobilized Leafs Nation and helped raise more than $6,000 in just five days so that Roberts, who suffers from debilitating cerebral palsy, could travel from his home in Bishop's Falls, N.L., to Toronto to meet the team.
- In February, Haligonians joined the #BlackPantherChallenge, raising $7,000 to send kids in Halifax to see the "Black Panther" movie. In a worldwide effort, more than 600 GoFundMe fundraisers raised almost $1 million to send kids to the movie.
- P.E.I. rallied around Brodie McCarthy's family and raised nearly $30,000 on GoFundMe after McCarthy was tragically killed during a rugby game.
- Fredericton, N.B., resident Scott Daniel raised nearly $10,000 on GoFundMe to help grieving families in the aftermath of August's tragic shooting that took the lives of four people, including two police officers.
Ontario and Quebec
"We're doing this, because I don't want my little sister to have to when she's our age. We're doing this, for all the scared teens, now grown, who didn't feel empowered enough to stand up to abusive teachers. We're doing this, because student allegations are #notjustrumours" pic.twitter.com/uBz1QMHODi
— Not Just Rumours (@NotJustRumours) May 11, 2018
- Sara Escallon-Sotomayor, a 17-year-old Grade 10 student in Toronto founded the #NotJustRumours movement, to protect students from teachers who engage in sexual abuse or misconduct. Her Change.org petition collected more than 19,000 signatures, and Ontario will now revoke the licences of teachers found guilty of groping or sexually touching students.
- It Gets Better Canada's petition is taking a stand for LGBTQ rights and calling for a ban on gay conversion therapy, which is still legal is several Canadian provinces. Over 58,000 citizens have signed the Change.org petition.
- The Native Women's Association of Canada's Change.org petition calls for an end to forced sterilizations of Indigenous women, underlining that sterilizing women without their free, full and informed consent is a form of violence and torture. Indigenous women across Canada, and as recent as 2017, have reported being forcibly or coercively sterilized. Over 27,000 people have signed the petition, so far.
- On April 23, Toronto was left in shock after a man drove a rental van into pedestrians on Yonge Street, killing 10 and injuring another 16. People from across Canada stood in solidarity to support the grieving community, raising over $700,000 on GoFundMe through a number of campaigns.
- After Toronto's tragic Danforth shooting in July, more than 6,000 community members came together on GoFundMe to support the victims and their families, raising over $450,000 and leaving messages of solidarity and support.
- Two Calgary sixth-graders, Mya and Eve, turned their school science fair project into an inspiring Change.org campaign, racking up 347,000 signatures that petitioned Starbucks to create a more environmentally friendly cup. They hand-delivered their petition to CEO Kevin Johnson, who then committed $10 million to creating a fully recyclable and compostable cup. Their campaign went on to inspire another young Calgary activist, Ben, who petitioned Starbucks to phase out single-use plastic straws. His petition attracted more than 145,000 signatures, and Starbucks announced it will stop using single-use plastic straws by 2020.
- Edmonton firefighters mobilized and raised over $11,000 on GoFundMe to send fire and rescue equipment to Puerto Morelos, Mexico — a town that lost much of its fire fighting resources after it separated from Cancun last year and became its own municipality.
- Adam, a homeless Edmonton man, unknowingly discovered an extremely rare original Bambi cel in a dumpster and sold it for $20 to an antique store. The antique store owner, Alexander Archbold, sold the cel and split the earnings with Adam, before using GoFundMe to raise $18,000 to help put a roof over Adam's head and reunite him with his family in Ontario.
- After an accident in the U.S. paralyzed 10-year-old Mehak Minhas and tragically took the lives of three of her family members, the Calgary community responded by raising more than $175,000 on GoFundMe to support Minhas and her family
- Winnipeggers saved their beloved Santa Claus Parade by banding together and raising more than $160,000 on GoFundMe. The parade celebrated its 109th consecutive anniversary this year thanks to the generosity of its fans.
- A teacher on the Bloodvein First Nation in Manitoba is raising funds via GoFundMe to develop an after-school dog sled program for the youth in his community. Sidney is getting close to his $10,000 goal that would help provide the kids with a positive outlet while also promoting canine health in the community.
"After learning that $31 Billion of food is wasted every year in Canada, I was shocked. I couldn't wrap my mind around the extent of #FoodWaste, especially with four million Canadians experiencing food insecurity."#KidsTheseDays...are changing the world https://t.co/Y9mftmfMgb. pic.twitter.com/WKc6m9eEFK
— Change.org Canada (@CdnChange) August 13, 2018
- Justin Kulik, a 17-year-old Kelowna, B.C., student, decided to take action after learning that $31 billion worth of food ends up in Canadian landfills each year. His Change.org petition, asking the minister of agriculture to adopt a national strategy to end food waste in Canada, gathered the support of over 189,000 people. Kulik travelled to Ottawa this fall to hand-deliver his petition and recommend that grocery stores in Canada be required to donate all usable, unsold food to charity, instead of throwing it away or destroying it.
- To honour the legacy of beloved Surrey, B.C., high school teacher Suminder Singh, students raised $18,000 for Mr. Singh's Legacy Fund. For the next 18 years, one graduating student from Tamanawis Secondary will receive a $1,000 grant, thanks to the generosity on GoFundMe.
-The musical community rallied around beloved Canadian musician John Mann, a member of Spirit of the West, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. Fans and fellow musicians have raised more than $42,000 on GoFundMe for his continued care.
- Eight-year-old Ryder Moore launched his third annual "Ryder's Rainboots" campaign and raised close to $4,300 on GoFundMe to buy rain boots and gear for people living in poverty in Maple Ridge, B.C.
- After a tragic grizzly bear attack took the lives of Valerie Theoret and her baby, Adele, outside of their cabin in remote Yukon, the community rallied around the family raising more than $33,000 to be donated to a charity in their honour.
- After two free community stores and a Salvation Army store closed down in Whitehorse, Yukon, residents were left without a place to donate or purchase affordable goods. A group of kindhearted volunteers called launched a GoFundMe, raising $5,855 to open the Love 2 Thrift thrift store.
- Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, an opera singer and educator based in Toronto, raised $10,300 on GoFundMe, allowing her to continue to offer free music and drama workshops for kids in Nunavut — an endeavour she's been undertaking each year for the past seven years.
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