One of the things I’m most proud about how I’ve raised my sons is their desire to give back.

Each year they hold a 50/50 birthday party where they raise money for a favourite charity, they use their own money to buy a toy to donate to kids in need, they draw pictures for Christmas cards for seniors we adopt, and they roll up their sleeves and help me raise money for Diabetes Canada.

They both have huge hearts and their desire to give back is immeasurable.

With the holiday season upon us and the inspiration to give back, give thanks, and help others in the air, we wanted to share our plans for giving back and let you know there’s an even easier way to find a cause that touches your heart and donate to that effort.

CanadaHelps helps people give back to causes near and dear to their hearts. They themselves are a registered charity dedicated to increasing charitable giving across Canada. The portal is an easy way for you to find a charity you care about – choosing from any of Canada’s charities – and to donate or fundraise for that cause. They also make it easy for the charity you choose, taking care to provide you an instant charitable tax receipt..

Each member of our family is inspired by a different cause, and we have a few that we support as a family.

Diabetes Canada has been a focus of my charitable efforts for the past 15 years. I have used my voice in traditional and social media to advocate for Canadians with diabetes so they receive proper supports from government, and in society. So often diabetes is used as a punchline, when it’s a chronic illness that people struggle with daily.

I want type 1 kids to be able to get support at school as they try to manage their diabetes, I want type 2 Canadians to be given the tools to manage their disease easier so they can live healthier, and I want all Canadians to be inspired by the Team Diabetes movement to take control of their health, become more active, and reach out and support a neighbour.

My wife was adopted. Her young mother spent time in a group home as she prepared to give birth. Children’s Cottage Society in Calgary is a similar sort of charity where we donate a lot of the boys’ clothes and toys that they’ve grown out of.

Ever since my grandmother passed away, we have adopted a senior through Seniors Secret Service to give them a special Christmas. The boys draw pictures and make cards, just like they would have for my grandmother, while my wife and I wrap up socks and calendars and chocolates.

Charlie is a hero for kids and toys. When he had hernia surgery as a toddler, he loved that a train table was there for him to play with while he waited. Each year, at Christmas, he uses his own savings to buy one of his favorite toys for the Calgary Firefighters Toy Association so a little boy or girl his age can have a nice surprise.

Zacharie is a big animal lover and a big supporter of the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation in Coaldale, AB. Spirit is his favourite, a large golden eagle that lost an eye and is a mascot of sorts for the facility.

Zacharie loves that the centre rehabilitates and works to protect his favourite Alberta animals. You can find the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation and many other animal charities here.

Finding them is easy using their search or list of categories.

Last year more than 2.2 million people visited and connected with more than 85 000 charities raising more than $700M in donations.

What inspires you to give? Please visit to find a charity or organization that inspires and pay it forward.

This post is sponsored by CanadaHelps. A donation to Diabetes Canada was made in exchange for this branded content.

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