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Whistler rises to the challenge of Giving Tuesday

Donate in order to receive tax receipt for 2015



The Community Foundation of Whistler (CFOW) collected $875 in just one day, after launching a month-long campaign to raise money for its emergency fund.

The campaign began on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1.

"Giving Tuesday was just the kickoff to our campaign," said Carol Coffey, executive director of the CFOW.

The campaign goal is to raise $5,000 for the fund throughout December.

"Typically, December is the time when many people donate to charity, particularly as Dec. 31st is the last day on which to donate in order to receive a charitable donation receipt for the 2015 tax year," said Coffey.

Meanwhile, the CFOW is dispersing more money from its emergency fund to help victims of the Alpine fire, which gutted half a condo complex on Nov. 10 and displaced dozens of residents from the entire building. It will be giving an additional $2,000 to two families; that donation comes on the heels of a recent $2,800 donation from the fund to three other families.

"In total we have processed, and the CFOW has supported, five applications for couples/families, which has been used to assist in finding new housing, retrieving lost identification and replacing lost medical items or equipment," said Jackie Dickinson, outreach worker with Whistler Community Services Society.

At the same time, the Whistler Food Bank smashed its Giving Tuesday goal tenfold by raising 10,000 pounds of food through a mixture of donated items and donated cash.

"We did really well," said Sara Jennings, food bank coordinator. "We depend on that for the rest of the season."

Simon Fraser University Professor Lara Aknin, an expert in the psychology of giving and generosity, said her research shows that spending money on others, or giving, leads to greater happiness than spending money on yourself.

"Our research has shown repeatedly that giving leads to well-being benefits," she said. "We've seen these results emerge in adults around the world and in young kids."

A new part of the research, said Aknin, was the findings around gift giving. While most people try to buy gifts that reflect the person they are giving the gifts to, both givers and receivers feel closer together after a gift representing the giver has been exchanged.

"That was very surprising to us," she said.

Jennings has created some new ideas for campaigns to raise money and awareness for the food bank.

Throughout the year, people will be able to purchase a certificate for the food bank as a gift.

There will also be a Family Volunteer Day on Monday, Dec. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. for children two years and older (registration required).

"Not everything is about raising funds and food all the time," said Jennings. "Sometimes it's about raising awareness about what we do and part of that is through volunteerism and a lot of people are looking for ways to give back at this time of year through volunteering."

Also on Dec. 21, a large donation will be coming to the food bank from the Fairmont Chateau Whistler food drive.

The kids will help unload the truck and restock shelves and package bulk items.

To volunteer, RSVP Jennings at