So you're trying to think of what to give to the person on your list who has everything, you say? Instead of adding to their hoard of worldly treasures, why not make a donation to a social cause in their name to help the greater good?
Whether they identify as straight, queer, LGBT, or are just plain interested in social justice and helping those in need, here's a list of some local LGBT organizations that accept donations.
Many of these organizations can help to not only improve lives but—when it comes to LGBT people who have faced years of oppression, discrimination, and more, or are experiencing health issues—can potentially help save them too.
Or if you or someone you've loved has benefited from or enjoyed any of these organizations, perhaps giving these organizations a Christmas donation could serve as a thank you?
Keep in mind that this is only a sampling of local organizations and there may be numerous others that may interest you or your recipient, including provincial and national organizations as well as arts, sports, and various interest groups.
A Loving Spoonful
This volunteer-powered society has offered free meals to women, men, and children who are homebound and living with HIV/AIDS. They accept donations and also have a monthly donor program called Bill's Kitchen. They also accept in-kind donations, including non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, office stationary, and auction items. They also issue an "In Honour" card on your behalf and will issue a tax receipt to you.
This organization became the first AIDS service organization in Canada when it opened in 1983. They offer a wide range of services including support programs, workshops, a helpline, financial assistance, and more. Donations can be made as a one-time donation or on an ongoing basis. For music lovers, you can also purchase Bif Naked's latest single "Intellectual"—all proceeds from the sale of the song go to AIDS Vancouver.
This lesbian organization is devoted to raising the visibility of older lesbians, and holds an annual conference. Donations help women attend the festival who might not otherwise be able to do so.
Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre
This volunteer-run centre provides wellness for transgender and gender-non-conforming people. The centre is a non-profit society and is working towards acquiring charitable status so that it can issue tax receipts to donors. Various levels of donations can help the centre to purchase items such as medical folders, transit tickets, medical supplies, printing educational material, website hosting, and more. They also have a wish list of items they need, including binders, vitamin E lotion, chest compression vests, and more.
Community-Based Research Centre (for Gay Men's Health)
These are the fine folks who bring us the B.C. Gay Men's Health Summit every fall. They also conduct the national Sex Now survey to gather information about gay and bisexual men that can be used for research. Donations are welcome, and as they do have charitable status, they can issue a tax receipt.
Dancing to Eagle Spirit Society
This aboriginal organization seeks to empower two-spirited people and to educate the public about indigenous practices and culture. Monetary donations are accepted, as are dry goods for their sweat-lodge program.
Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation
The Dr. Peter Centre is the only HIV/AIDS day health program and 24-hour nursing care residence in the province. The foundation raises funds for innovative health care at the centre, including various forms of therapy and nutrient-dense menus. Donations can be made in a variety of ways, including tribute gifts (which include e-cards), monthly donations, and more.
Health Initiative for Men
Health Initiative for Men offers a comprehensive range of programs and services, ranging from STI–testing clinics and outdoor bootcamps (during the summer) to counselling and life-drawing classes. They're also expanding their STI–testing clinics to the suburbs in order to reach the geographically diverse LGBT population. Tax receipts for donations are issued through Canada Helps.
LOUD Scholarship Foundation
This foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Gay and Lesbian Business Association that offers scholarships to young community leaders. They have a number of scholarships you can donate to, and you can even help to create new scholarships too.
Our City of Colours
Our City of Colours is designed to raise the visibility of LGBT people in various cultural and linguistic communities where they may be perceived as non-existent or not talked about. They launched several bilingual poster campaigns. Donations are welcome (as they do not have charitable status, they cannot issue tax receipts unfortunately).
Out On Screen
As previously mentioned in our cinema gift guide, Out On Screen, who present the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Out in Schools, offers a wide range of ways to donate. Donations can be made to Out on Screen, Out in Schools, or the VQFF. Out in Schools has launched its first annual fundraising campaign, "Opening Hearts and Changing Minds". They're hoping to raise $330,000 to reach students throughout rural B.C. to address transphobia and homophobia. Until December 31, Scotiabank will match your donation as part of the "Making Hallways Bright" holiday fundraiser.
Positive Living BC
This organization offers a wide range of services, programs, support groups, workshops, retreats, outreach, and more, including acupuncture, dental hygiene, nutrition advice, tai chi, and lots more. Tax receipts will be issued for donations. Donations can also be made toward specific things such as the tribute tree, a holiday dinner, or a healing retreat.
There are numerous ways to donate to B.C.'s queer resource centre. They also have a wish list of items they'd be interested in receiving, such as travel rewards points, professional services, and more. Executive director Dara Parker informed the Georgia Straight that they are currently applying for intervenor status in the B.C. Supreme Court case against the Vancouver School Board for its gender identity policy. Donations for that effort will help to support LGBT advocacy at the courts.
Queer Arts Festival
If you're interested in supporting queer artists expressing themselves in the visual, literary, and performing arts, donations (one-time or monthly, with tax receipts issued) are welcome.
This organization provides support, education, sponsorship, and advocacy for LGBT refugees. As they are volunteer run, they welcome donations. Rainbow Refugee is working towards charitable status but can issue tax receipts through the United Church of Canada.
Trans Alliance Society
This registered non-profit society provides transgender support, education, outreach, and advocacy. Donations are appreciated.
Vancouver Pride Society