6 Unwavering Supporters Of Vulnerable Canadians

Canada is a nation of natural beauty and cultural diversity, but just like in any other place, there are many citizens who face daily hardships that can be challenging to deal with. From assisting children and youth to helping immigrants settle in, here, in no particular order, are some organizations dedicated to helping the people of the Great White North.

Starting off the list at #1 is UNICEF Canada. Founded in 1955, this organization advocates for the protection of children, and defends every kid's right to a happy and healthy childhood. Working with governments and the private sector in Canada and internationally, it works to advance laws that support the well-being of children and youth.

UNICEF's One Youth initiative was started with the goal of making Canada the best place in the world to be a kid. To help bring this vision to life, the organization holds annual Change Summits, which are two-day events that take place in cities across the country. During these gatherings, kids and adults work together to brainstorm collaborative solutions that will improve the lives of young people throughout the nation.

The #2 spot goes to The Salvation Army. This international Christian organization began its work in Canada in 1882. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest non-governmental direct providers of social services in the country. This institution gives hope and support to vulnerable people in over 400 communities across Canada, and more than 130 countries around the world.

The Salvation Army offers practical assistance such as food, clothing, and shelter to individuals, children, and families. Besides ensuring that people are given access to the necessities of life, its programs also address needs such as language barriers, loneliness, unemployment, and family challenges. The services offered are continually being adapted to meet the emerging needs of society. The organization also provides shelter to the homeless, and rehabilitation for people who struggle with addiction.

Up next, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is #3 on the list. This is a nationwide health charity that supports the individuals, families, and caregivers who deal with dementia in all its forms. Active in communities across the nation, the Society offers programs and services, raises funds to advance research, advocates for policy changes, and increases public awareness of the disease.

Staff and volunteers provide assistance, educational resources, and referral services to ease the burden of care, and to improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The organization's MedicAlert Safely Home service is designed to help identify a person who may have gone missing, and ensures that the individual returns home safely.

Moving on to #4, Family Services of Greater Vancouver supports thousands of people across the Lower Mainland area living in need, in crisis, or with trauma. Founded in 1928, this organization offers over 50 programs, services, workshops, and groups to help people build resilience, develop skills and knowledge, and gain the confidence to make positive changes in their lives.

The team at FSGV is made up of professionally trained counselors and therapists with graduate degrees in clinical social work and psychology. Programs address topics such as financial planning, nutrition, parenting, isolation, mental illness, and addiction. For example, the Caring Neighbors initiative offers free workshops and community kitchens that give newcomers, parents, and seniors the opportunity to engage, gain new life skills, and make friends.

At #5, SOS Children's Village BC was founded in 1986 as a grassroots response to deficiencies in the provincial foster care system. It strives to enhance the development and healing of foster children by employing a holistic framework that addresses physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. The program works to ensure a child's long-term stability by implementing a strong focus on transition to adulthood, and aging out of care.

The British Columbia Village model is based on the belief of founder Hermann Gmeiner, who asserted that a loving caregiver, consistent home, and a community of professional support staff could create a circle of healing, hope, and belonging for foster children. The program's wraparound services encompass counseling, art therapy, cultural traditions, and more, allowing youth, many of whom have mental health conditions, to recover from traumatic pasts.

Lastly, Immigrant Services Calgary is #6 on the list. This organization provides a wide range of settlement services to immigrants and refugees looking to begin a new chapter of life in Canada. It employs a client-focused, integrated approach when working with individuals and families, all to ensure that settling in Calgary is as smooth as possible.

The agency's goal is to reach new residents in a timely and responsive manner so as to facilitate a successful integration into the Calgary community. The team works collaboratively with clients to ensure adequate access to programs and services that can help them overcome the challenges that go hand-in-hand with immigrating to a new country.