The past few months have dramatically re-shaped our notions of what’s really important. Things have fallen to the bottom of the list, while people are right up top.
Your dad (or the father figure in your life) is far less likely to smile at a new pair of socks or a shiny set of golf clubs this year than he is at a gift that helps our communities (or our planet) to thrive. With the economy taking a beating and social-justice and climate-change issues at the top of our minds, now is the time to make every dollar matter.
A charitable donation in dad’s name will bring joy on a larger scale. We’ve got suggestions for you, this Father’s Day, whatever may be your dad’s passions and priorities:
For dads who love books
If your dad is passionate about reading, he’s sure to want to spread that love of books and help reach kids who might have restricted access to literature. A $25 donation to the Canadian branch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Foundation Library will mean that a child aged between one and five, in an equity-seeking community in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Saskatchewan or Yukon Territories gets a free book in the mail each month for a whole year and can build their own library of Canadian-authored books.
For dads who’re all about family
Kids from all over Canada (and the world) come to SickKids Hospital, in Toronto, for medical procedures, and their parents may well find themselves sleeping in the ward, to comfort their child overnight. You can honour Dad by helping to fund a sleeper chair, with a $45 gift, to make another parent’s stay more comfortable.
For dads committed to Indigenous culture and healing
As well as educating Canadians about intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, the Indigenous-led charity Legacy of Hope Foundation helps survivors heal and builds bridges with allies. Donations will help with initiatives such as the crisis line, cultural and awareness-raising events and research into issues affecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.
For dads who care about food security
Community Food Centres Canada has teamed up with chefs across the country, during the pandemic, to provide nutritious and tasty meals for families that need them and help support people in the restaurant industry, which is also hard hit right now.
A $24 donation to their Made With Love campaign provides a family with three meals.
For dads passionate about Black health and wellness
Your donation, in dad’s name, will also help the organization do important research into the social determinants of health and work to ensure equitable access to medical care.
For dads whose lives have been touched by cancer
The Friday before Father’s Day, the Canadian Cancer Society runs its annual #PlaidForDad awareness and fundraising campaign. As well as wearing plaid to work (even if that means plaid pyjamas at your kitchen table right now), you can go to the online store and buy plaid gear (for men or women), knowing a portion of the profits will go to prostate cancer research, or you can make a donation and honour your dad on the Tribute Wall.
For dads who’re wild about animals
From tracking wolverines to running citizen-science research projects around bats to protecting bison, in partnership with Indigenous groups, they’re doing important work for Canadian animals and ecosystems.
For dads who love sports
Special Olympics Canada is an organization that close to 50,000 athletes of all ages, with developmental disabilities, belong to. They can join in recreational sports programs or compete, in a supportive and fun environment dedicated to fitness, sporting values and community.
If you make a one-time donation, you can dedicate it to Dad, and he’ll receive an e-card.
For dads who wave the rainbow flag
This Canadian charity’s work includes giving legal support, making sports safe and accessible, creating social supports for queer folks, as well as offering school and workplace inclusion training. Make a donation in your father’s name here.
For dads who stay up at night worrying about all of humanity
The Humanitarian Coalition works with seven major Canadian partner organizations, who are already on the ground in more than 150 countries, helping people in disaster zones get clean water, food, shelter and medical care.
Among the crises they helped with last year were floods in Uganda, an earthquake in the Philippines and two cyclones in Fiji. You can make a one-time or monthly donation in your dad’s name.