As one of our friends on social media said recently:

 “Philanthropy isn’t about giving back to the community. It’s about being part of your community.”

With the holidays around the corner, we’re asked regularly: How can I help? What can my family and I do?

The DI is #FueledByKindness and relies on the support of the entire community, so with our thinking caps on, we put together a list of 7 simple ways to be a philanthropist for the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

1. Donate your old furniture.

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales just around the corner, it’s a popular time of year to redecorate! The DI’s Free Goods Program relies on used furniture, cookware, clothes and more. For vulnerable Calgarians moving into their own place, it takes the whole community to make a house a home.

2. Throw a birthday donation bash.

Turn a birthday party into a fun-filled donation drive. This is a great way to get children involved and teach them about the importance of giving. For example, in lieu of gifts, request your guests donate most-needed items like Tim Horton gift cards, transit passes or cash.

Earlier this year, The DI received a donation of shampoo and towels from a kind, 8-year old girl. Instead of asking for birthday presents, she asked for money to buy items for the DI. When we asked her why she chose to help the DI, she said, “I’m not really sure, it just seems like the right thing to do to make a huge difference in the life of someone in need. The DI is looking for $5 Tim Horton gifts cards and bus tickets for holiday gifts. You can mail or drop off gift cards:

Calgary Drop-In Centre
Attn: Engagement
1 Dermot Baldwin Way SE
Calgary, AB T2G 0P8

3. Sponsor a hot meal for hundreds of people.

Without meal sponsorship, the DI alone can’t afford to serve hot and comforting meals. It’s our goal in 2019 to have 100% sponsored meals. This is an ambitious goal – and we need help getting there. Either as a group, an individual, or a corporation, your sponsored meal will make a huge impact for your neighbours. If you choose, you can select to serve the meal you sponsor, and let me tell ya, it can be a life-changing experience to see the depth of gratitude among those we serve. (It’s so rewarding, a lot of groups make this a monthly outing.)

4. Share your raffle winnings.

Have you ever put your name into a raffle for a “yearly subscription to” or a “lifetime supply of” something – only to realize you don’t really have use for 2,000 cans of vegetables? The next time you enter a sweepstakes or giveaway, consider making the recipient your favourite charity.

Fun Fact: A long-time volunteer of the DI actually did this! He put his name in for a 1-year’s supply of Kraft products – and he actually won! He donated his winnings to the DI, and in turn, we shared with the Food Bank because the DI is #RootedInCommunity.

5. Help make someone’s new house a home.

Hutch Kitchen has taken the initiative in their community to host not one, but TWO, fundraisers for the DI. First, they are accepting donations and in return, Hutch Kitchen is giving donors a discount up to $50 off their gorgeous cookware. Second, they are selling move-in packages for residents in the DI’s newest affordable housing complex (coming in Spring 2019). Learn how you can help here:


6. Volunteer!

Philanthropy isn’t only about donating cash or goods; your time is also valuable. Charities rely heavily on volunteers for just about everything. The DI, for example, relies on 178,000 volunteer hours per year – that’s the equivalent of 100 full-time staff! The DI has many different volunteering opportunities for individuals as well as groups.

To see The DI’s current opportunities, visit

7. Contribute a monthly donation.

Big or small, monthly gifts are the easiest and quickest way to make a HUGE impact for marginalized Calgarians. According to Money Sense, the DI was ranked #12 of Canada’s top 100 charities, earning an overall “A”-rating. What they found? The DI is really efficient and effective with donated funds!

This year, we have set up the “GIVALANCHE” function. This means, once you donate, you can maximize your impact by sharing a unique URL with your friends and family. Then, you can watch as your personalized fundraising campaign grows!

Have a question? Want to share your idea or contribution with us? Email – we would love to hear from you!