Give Back Local
There are many ways to give back to your local community.
These are just a few of the many charities, not-for-profit organizations and community groups in York Region that need your help.
Clicking on the banner for each will take you to their respective websites for more information on how to help, donate and support.
- Bereaved Families of York Region
- Alzheimers York Region
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of York
- Blue Door Support Services
- Canadian Mental Health Assoc York Region
- Community Living York South and Central York
- CAYR Community Connections
- Crystal Ladder Learning Centre
- Cystic Fibrosis York Region
- Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women
- Epilepsy York Region
- Evergreen Hospice
- Food Bank of York Region
- Girls Inc.
- High Notes Avante
- Home on the Hill
- Hope House Hospice
- Hospice Georgina
- Hospice Vaughan
- Inn from the Cold
- L'Arche Daybreak
- Mackenzie Health Foundation
- Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation
- MADD York Region
- Ontario SPCA Newmarket
- Participation House Markham
- PFLAG York Region
- Sandgate Women's Shelter
- Southlake Foundation
- Shine Through the Rain
- Sick Kids
- Threads for Life - Steps for Life
- Toronto Zoo
- Yellow Brick House
- York Pride
- York Support Services Network (YSSN)
360°kids has been providing support services to at-risk and homeless youth in York Region for the past 30 years. Our primary focus is prevention, crisis, and aftercare services to vulnerable and homeless youth. Homelessness causes are complex, however, relationship breakdowns are at the core – divorce of parents, sexual and physical abuse, abandonment, pre-arranged marriages, cultural differences, and human trafficking, Marginalized youth are often coping with a multitude of additional challenges beyond that of their peers including incarcerations, under-educated, in low-paying jobs, single parent households, engaged in criminal behaviours, and have mental health issues. 360°kids provides a one-stop agency with wraparound supports where young people can access safe, supportive housing options along with a full range of services including —clothing and food, personal support, outreach, counselling, life skills training, employment programs, education upgrading and job searching—designed to help youth get back on their feet.
Bereaved Families of Ontario-York Region (BFOYR) is a charitable organization that supports families and individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one. For more than 25 years, BFOYR has delivered bereavement support services by trained volunteers and staff to the York Region community. Our programs and services are free of charge which ensures people have access to caring, compassionate support.
The Alzheimer Society of York Region (AS York) has been a leader in actively supporting individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias since 1985, providing programs and services for people diagnosed with the disease and their care partners. Due to COVID-19, face-to-face meetings have been cancelled, but AS York is offering virtual support groups, education series, including First Steps and Care Essentials for caregivers, and DAY programs. In addition, social workers are available to provide information, support and resources to York Region residents impacted by dementia. Contact our First Link Navigator at email@example.com.
Big Brothers of York became incorporated in December 1970 with the mandate of providing boys from absent father homes with mentors by matching them with Big Brothers. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of York (BBBSY) provides various mentoring programs and free activities to children and youth throughout York Region and Bradford West Gwillimbury. These positive mentoring programs help children and youth build the confidence to achieve more, assisting them in reaching their full potential and grow into adults who will contribute positively to society.
Since 1982, Blue Door, a not-for-profit registered charitable agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, has been an integral part of our community providing emergency housing for the homeless population of York Region. As the region has grown, so too have the services of our organization. Initiated as a shelter for single men, Blue Door has expanded to include emergency housing programs for families and youth. We’re more than a bed. At Blue Door, we offer a wide variety of additional services that help people transition to permanent housing, to move on with their lives. Homelessness can happen to anyone. Blue Door is here to help.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region Branch was founded in 1984 and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illnesses.
We help people learn how to maintain their mental health, look for and identify the signs of mental illness, and get help and support when they need it. Through several locations across York Region and South Simcoe, we provide a wide range of services to assist individuals with their recovery. Our multi-disciplinary team of professionals are dedicated to assisting people achieve their optimum level of mental health.
Community Living York South is a not-for-profit organization that provides support services to children, youth, adults and seniors who have an intellectual disability and live in Southern York Region, which includes the communities of: Kleinburg, Gormley, Maple, Markham, Nobleton, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville. Community Living Central York serves Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, King and Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Community Living’ means:
- living in a place where everyone belongs
- being free from limitations in accessing places, supports or services
- being welcomed and respected by friends, family and neighbours
- having the chance to participate in things that are meaningful to us
- participating in the community to the extent that we choose
Across the province, Community Living is a collective of 117 membership agencies of Community Living Ontario.
CAYR* Community Connections was originally founded as the AIDS Committee of York Region in 1993 and formally incorporated as a registered charitable organization in 1996. Our mission and vision is to create safe, confidential, and inclusive spaces and services in York Region where people can access dignified support and meaningfully engage in self-determined pathways to well-being. We envision an informed, healthy, stigma-free and compassionate community.
We offer specialized and combined programs for:
- People living with HIV/AIDS (newly diagnosed to long-term survivors)
- People affected by or at risk of HIV and Hep C
- People who use drugs
- People who identify as 2SLGBTQ+
- People supporting vulnerable and marginalized community members
Launched in 1980, CHATS is a not-for-profit charitable organization that enhances the health, wellness, and independence of more than 8,300 York Region and South Simcoe seniors and caregivers each year. As a not-for-profit charitable organization, CHATS depends on the generosity of valued donors. Although CHATS is partially funded by the Central Local Health Integration Network, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the United Way of Toronto & York Region.
The Crystal Ladder Learning Centre (CLLC) strongly believes that a developmentally holistic approach between our various Clinical, Educational and Recreational Services is the key to any child’s success. Since our inception in 2014, The Crystal Ladder’s clear, concise and comprehensive holistic philosophy has formed the groundwork to our various therapeutic treatment services, innovative learning environments and assemblage of a multidisciplinary team of professionals. In doing so, The Crystal Ladder always strives to provide and ensure the highest quality of services to children with neurodevelopmental exceptionalities with proven intervention strategies implemented by consolidating learning and skill acquisition across all developmental domains.
Cystic Fibrosis is a fatal genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs, pancreas, liver and other organs. CF is characterized by frequent respiratory infections, pancreatic insufficiency and malabsorption, and often leads to end-stage lung disease. Cystic Fibrosis Canada provides service to York Region.
With over 26 years of service to the community, ehcw is moving towards trade skills awareness programs for women, newcomers and immigrants. We aim to have them enter into apprenticeship and training so that they can acquire trade skills in construction. Our partnership with the Toronto Community Benefits Network as their Community Host brought us within reach of this goal. Referrals for apprenticeship and training have begun. College of Carpenters have been open to receiving women and immigrants seeking training in the multiple fields of carpentry.
Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women is a registered Canadian charitable services agency established on September 2, 1992, in Toronto. The Centre is named after Elspeth Heyworth and honours her legacy of helping people who are less fortunate.
Epilepsy York Region is a non-profit, community-based, multi-service agency. Founded in 1988, it now provides support, education and advocacy to an estimated 7,300 to 14,600 people with epilepsy and their families in York Region. We recognize the need to reduce every kind of isolation or stigma and provide opportunities for people with this condition to stay in the mainstream, learn how to self advocate, learn what good medical care consists of, and what their treatment options are. We feel strongly about giving them opportunities to meet and support one another and achieve an increased level of control of already compromised lives.
Evergreen provides community based supportive services to individuals and their families in Markham, Stouffville and Thornhill, who are living with a life-threatening illness or living with the death of a loved one. Evergreen is a non-profit, charitable organization which depends on donations and limited government funding in order to provide support at no charge to the client.
In April 2014, Evergreen Hospice of Markham Stouffville and Hospice Thornhill, organizations that have both served their communities for more than 25 years, joined to become one stronger agency serving all three communities: Markham, Stouffville and Thornhill. Operational integration was complete at the end of 2013 with the governance and legal changes approved as of March 31, 2014. The new organization is now called “Evergreen”.
The Food Bank of York Region is a regional food bank serving the nine municipalities of York Region (Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, and King). We source, collect, warehouse, and deliver surplus fresh, frozen, and non-perishable food donations for the 85+ local front-line community service agencies we support within our network. We also run a home delivery program for residents of York Region experiencing hunger and food insecurity. For more information about the FBYR, ways to donate or get involved, please visit www.fbyr.ca and follow us on social media. FB: FoodbankYR, IG: @foodbankyr, TW: @FoodbankYR.
Girls Incorporated of York Region is a non-profit youth organization that is dedicated to empowering girls and young women to seek the highest quality of life possible. The programs that we offer are designed to help girls develop to the fullest of their capacities in all areas of life. We actively strive to enhance confidence and self-esteem in girls and young women, while giving them the skills and tools they need in order to be empowered, productive and contributing members of society. Girls are encouraged to develop their voice and to take an active role in shaping the programs that they choose to participate in. Girls require and deserve the awareness, attention, and commitment of a wide range of individuals and organizations to promote their healthy development. Girls benefit from programs and strategies that build on their strengths and encourage them to explore meaningful possibilities for their futures. As members of National Girls Incorporated, we continue to maintain the vision of empowering girls and an equitable society by being the nation’s leading voice for girls.
“Music can change the world because it can change people” ….. said U2’s Bono
High Notes Avante’s Mission is to inspire, give hope and connect those touched by mental illness through artistic expression.
Our registered charitable objectives are To relieve conditions associated with mental illness by offering art productions directed towards the alleviation of loneliness and isolation, as well as to reduce the associated stigma; to promote mental health by providing information from mental health professionals and testimonials from artists, well-known personalities and others who suffer or have suffered from mental illness.
HIGH NOTES VIRTUAL
With Covid-19 the world stopped for a while as we all had to rethink how we do things while protecting our loved ones. For High Notes Avante it has also been a way to come up with new creative solutions to ‘get together’. Please check our website upcoming events.
The Need for Supportive Housing for People Living With Serious Mental Illness in the Richmond Hill Community. It has been estimated that approximately one in five Canadians will personally experience mental illness in their lifetime (Health Canada, 2002). If this proportion is translated to the population of Richmond Hill, it could be suggested that mental illness affects approximately 37,000 individuals in Richmond Hill. Access to secure stable housing, as the above information clearly demonstrates, is essential to us all, including those living with a serious mental illness. Accordingly, Home on the Hill Supportive Housing has been formed to address the need for supportive housing in our community. Home on the Hill currently plans to expand their supportive housing program to include a residence which will house four tenants and a resident worker. Current Home on the Hill supportive programming already running in the community will be used to support our new tenants. Unfortunately these plans have been interrupted by the covid-19 crisis.
After over 35 years, York Region’s first Community Hospice changed its name to better reflect the expanded service area and the wide array of programs and services offered. Hope House Community Hospice is a volunteer-driven community agency offering specialized services and support to those diagnosed with life-threatening illness, family caregivers, and those who are bereaved. The generous support of our donors and community partners allow us to offer all of our programs at no cost. As part of the “continuum of care”, we work closely with care coordinators, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals.
Hospice Georgina strives toward the standard of excellence in the practice of community hospice palliative care by demonstrating empathy and compassion for Georgina residents struggling with terminal illness and bereavement. We measure our results in positive client outcomes, continued service improvement, and supported family satisfaction. Hospice Georgina’s vision is to support an individual’s quality of life, and dignity at death, in their place of choice by sharing the caring.
Devoted to helping our residents live fully until they die, Hospice Vaughan is opening the door to a better future. We are building a state of the art facilty that will include a 10-bed residential hospice, family support and bereavement services, visiting hospice services and facilities to conduct research and educate health care professionals on palliative care best practices.
Inn From The Cold meets the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We work with the community and collaborate with our partners in supporting those with basic to complex needs in York Region.
L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill welcomes adults with intellectual disabilities and the assistants who live, work and learn with them. People are drawn to our community from all over the world seeking a different way of life and bringing with them a wide range of beliefs, backgrounds and qualifications. Many local friends participate in our community life as volunteers. L’Arche Daybreak is a dynamic example of how people of different intellectual capacity, social origin and culture can live together.
We’re spearheading the largest fundraising drive led by a community hospital in Canada with a $250 million goal to help build and equip Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and enhance care at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. It’s the Ultimate campaign.
Why the Ultimate? Well, it’s quite simple. You deserve the very best in health care. In fact, you deserve the ultimate. You deserve two hospitals instead of one. From smart beds and innovative technology to our acclaimed regional programs and leading health care experts, Mackenzie Health will revolutionize how health care is provided in southwest York Region.
Established in 1989, the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation has continuously raised funds to support healthcare for more than 330,000 residents of the Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville communities. To meet the growing needs of the community, the Foundation successfully completed a $50 million expansion campaign in 2014, having raised $56 million. Through the tremendous support of generous donors, the Foundation has been able to fund capital expenditures for equipment, IT infrastructure, and the major expansion and renovation project for Markham Stouffville Hospital. We are embarking on a new era of how we deliver healthcare for our patients. As the capacity of our hospital grows, so do our ongoing needs.
Each and every year, thousands of Canadians are killed or injured in impaired driving crashes. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a terrible crime that touches all our lives. It is an irresponsible, dangerous and intolerable act. MADD Canada strives to offers support services to victims/survivors, heighten awareness about the dangers of alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving, and to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. At the heart of MADD Canada are our volunteers; they include not only mothers, but fathers, friends, business professionals, experts in the anti-impaired driving field and concerned citizens who want to make a difference in the fight against impaired driving.
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is privileged to be Ontario’s animal welfare charity since 1873. In our role as a charity, we provide a variety of mission-based programs and resources focused on providing for animal welfare, including community-based sheltering, shelter health & animal wellness, high-volume spay/neuter services, animal rescue and relief, animal advocacy, Indigenous partnership programs, humane education and animal protection services. Working together we can make a difference in the lives of countless animals in need.
WELL Health has launched a $50,000 Donation Matching Campaign to help non-profit organizations support the homeless, hungry, and hurting during these difficult times. Participation House, Markham is honoured to be one of the three organizations chosen for this initiative based on ourr long history of working to improve the lives of people living with disabilities. At seven different sites in York Region, we serve 120 men and women ranging in age from 20 to 86. Every one of our clients deserves the very best of life, and we help them live it. A leader in enhancing the quality of life of individuals with disabilities through a continuum of services designed to reflect individualized approaches, community involvement and a respect for human dignity.
Pflag is York Region’s LGBTQ2 support, resource and education network – bringing together all members of the community. We are a volunteer-led local registered charity servicing one of the fastest growing and multicultural regions nationwide. Every day, our compassionate volunteers are contacted by frightened adolescents and by angry, fearful or confused parents and family members from all walks of life who have questions or concerns about sexual orientation or gender identity. Our dedicated volunteers are there for those in need when it seems no one else is!
Sandgate Women’s Shelter of York Region Inc. is dedicated to empowering all persons who identify as women and their children through safe shelter, resources, information and advocacy in order to eliminate violence in their lives. Your gift today provides hope and a safe haven to women fleeing violence–often with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, Currently your help is needed to help feed shelter families isolated by COVID-19, and helps to support our local restaurants during this unprecedented time.
At Southlake Foundation, we fundraise with one goal in mind: supporting our leading edge hospital and the communities it serves. As our community grows and changes, our hospital and our Foundation fundraising goals grow too — always looking forward to ensure that we are serving our current and future patients best. Our donors are our partners, helping us through their investments to build healthy communities and help shape the future of health care.
Shine Through The Rain does many things but all in the service of one goal. That goal is to help those who are affected by life threatening illnesses. Whether it’s through services or funds, we provide guidance, support, and financial aid to those in need. We help adults, children, and families find the silver lining. When things seem gloomy and you’re being rained on, we’re here to help you shine through it.
SickKids families face even more stress now. You can help ease the burden by providing support for in-room programs and activities as well as out-of-pocket expenses associated with having a sick child. Your donations will fund highest priority needs – including urgent measures to combat COVID-19. From a new clinical trial of a device to limit lung damage in ventilated patients to fast-tracked efforts to develop an antibody therapy, SickKids scientists are already all-in on the fight against COVID-19. Our ER and Critical Care staff are giving their all. You can give them the resources and PPE they need to do their work safely and effectively.
Every working day, 3 families will receive the news that a loved one is not returning home from work that day. Their families, friends and co-workers will rally together to be there for one another. The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, known as Threads of Life, supports the healing journey of families who have suffered from a workplace fatality, traumatic life-altering injury, or occupational disease. In order to do this, every year Threads of Life hosts its flagship fundraiser – Steps for Life. Steps for Life is traditionally a 5-km family walk that aims to educate the community about the devastating ripple effects of each workplace tragedy and how we can work together to prevent others being injured or killed on the job.
The Toronto Zoo may be closed to the public due to COVID-19, but the Zoo team continues to work hard behind-the-scenes to provide world-class care to over 5,000 animals, including a balanced and nutritious diet. The $1 million annual cost of food for our animals is normally funded by paid guest parking, but there have been no guests since the Zoo’s closure in mid-March. You can help feed the animals at the Toronto Zoo with a generous donation.
Yellow Brick House provides life-saving support services and prevention program to women, children and communities impacted by domestic violence. In your neighbourhood and across our community, we are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week supporting women and children to rebuild their lives free from violence. Our 24/7 Crisis & Support Lines are always answered and our shelters are open, safe and Covid-19 Free. Every woman’s story with Yellow Brick House begins with the courage to leave a dangerous—even deadly—home. They share stories of terror, despair, and tears. But the real story of Yellow Brick House is about empowering women and children to rebuild their lives and we give a voice to the untold stories of violence in our community. Together we can “Break The Silence”, raise awareness about the need for change, and move our community forward to end violence against women and children.
To provide an inclusive safer space in our community by creating experiences through social engagement that inspire healthy respectful spaces, dialogue and understanding. We believe that our core values are the key components to inspire and empower people in a diverse suburban environment.
• Dignity – openness about sexuality, gender expression and gender identity, without fear of discrimination or oppression
• Equity – we believe in equal treatment and opportunity for all people in our community
• Engagement – we encourage and promote social opportunities for all ages to participate in our celebration
• Diversity – we celebrate the uniqueness of all voices while bringing people together as one community
At YSSN, we are committed to ensuring you, or your family member, receive the best possible experience when you participate in our services or programs. We value the input of those we provide services to and are committed to receiving and responding to all your feedback regardless of the content. Many of our clients live on limited incomes, and at times, require support for basic necessities such as food and shelter. Donations made to YSSN help individuals with their wellness journey by providing them with the financial assistance and resources they need to help them with their recovery. Currently, 100% of all donations received via cash, cheque, or e-transfer are distributed to clients through our Client Fund or go directly to the specified program or special event donors choose to support.
The Short-Term Crisis Bed Program is currently looking for small denomination gift cards from Tim Hortons and other fast-food chains like Subway, Pizza Pizza and McDonald’s, $25 gift cards for First Choice Hair-cutters and $25 grocery and Giant Tiger gift cards.
Cloth, reusable masks that clients can be given upon discharge from the program are also needed.
To donate items to the Short-Term Crisis Bed Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-953-5402 ext. 3330