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Give the Gift of Community Service

5 places in downtown Duncan to donate your time and funds this holiday season.

Feeling stuffed from too much turkey? Think about those who are food insecure.

Christmas is about giving more than gifts to your loved ones. It is also about charity and supporting the non-profits that help keep our neighbourhood safe and strong. It is an opportunity to turn excessive seasonal indulgence into community service!

Visit ReFRESH Marketplace at Cowichan Green Community! Screenshot from CGC website.

Downtown Duncan has a great resource in town for those looking to combat food insecurity. For fresh food for below market value prices, visit the ReFRESH Marketplace. Located by the Garage on 360 Duncan Street, ReFRESH Marketplace stands for Food Recovery Social Enterprise Hub. The organization collects food donations from grocery stores that can no longer be sold but are still edible and re-sells these food items at a lower cost.

Watch Cowichan Green Community executive director Judy Stafford explain how you can help the ReFRESH Marketplace optimize their operations this coming year:

ReFRESH Marketplace and food security not your charitable priority? Check out these other four nonprofits for more opportunities to volunteer or donate:

1) Cowichan Women Against Violence. This organization supports women and children fleeing abusive relationships by providing survivors with shelter and other essentials. CWAV is asking for donations in the forms of gift cards for grocery stores, toothbrushes, socks, umbrellas, as well as used cell phones. For more information, visit their website.

Cowichan Women Against Violence - Ways to Help! Screenshot from CWAV website.

2) Literacy Now Cowichan. Did you know that sixteen percent of British Columbia residents are at a Level 1 literacy level or below? Many of these individuals are employed but need support in order to advance their careers. Why not volunteer as a tutor to support people trying to better themselves? For more information, visit their website.

Literacy Now - Volunteer Now! Screenshot from Literacy Now website.

3) Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. If you are passionate about protecting the environment, get involved with the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. You can become a member, sign up to be a volunteer, or make a cash or in-kind donation by visiting their website.

Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. Screenshot from website.

4) Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Cowichan Valley. This organization supports youth with diverse struggles by offering mentoring in the form of outings with volunteers who share interests with the children in need of support. Why not volunteer with your partner in the Couples for Kids program? You can donate online as well.

Some of the successful programs run by Big Brothers and Sisters. Screenshot from Big Brothers and Big Sisters website.

These are just a few ideas for you to give back to your community this season. Start the new year right and make a donation or volunteer for an organization in need - your community will appreciate you!

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