Every year I am looking for ways I can give back and support causes I believe in. Below are some of the organizations I support and some of the more direct ways I give back.
The Dan Culver Follow Your Dreams Foundation
After the loss of my brother, Dan, family, relatives and friends banded together to do something good for young people. Jedediah Island had been recently purchased with the help of Dan’s estate, MEC (their largest donation to date), The Nature Trust of BC, the Friends of Jedediah, and the Marine Parks Forever Society. For nine years I organized seven-day leadership experiences for teenagers on Jedediah. I think Dan was smiling.
1% for the planet – member since 2012
One Percent is a truly innovative way for businesses to donate to environmental causes. Founded a decade ago by Yvon Chouinard (founder Patagonia) and Craig Mathews (owner of Blue Ribbon Flies), One Percent now has 1,200 contributing members, 3,300 nonprofits, and has directed $100 million to charitable causes. Each member commits to annually donating 1% of gross revenues to selected nonprofits.
I joined KIVA after returning from Ecuador. I was feeling guilty about enjoying such a beautiful country and I wanted my children to be a part of giving back. Since them I have made about 50 loans
in 13 countries and (I’m always surprised about this) all but one have been completely paid back. It’s actually fun to log in, see you have a balance returned to you and to loan it out again (beats video games any day).
IWEN (Intercultural Women’s Education Network)
This one is dear to my heart. IWEN was founded by retired social worker, Michelle Bonneau as a wish to return young Nepalese girls from indentured labour (they are “purchased” by rich Indians to do domestic labour) back to their families and school. In 2003 my daughter Claire, then 15, and I helped finish IWEN’s first school and start construction of Unako women’s enterprise centre. It was life changing.
For a number of years I’ve been supporting WaterAid (previously WaterCan) with their work in sub-Sahara Africa. I spent six months traveling, kayaking, and cycling in Africa in the mid-80’s and I’ve always wanted to do more to help those beautiful people. In 2015 I sponsored the building of a new water well in Ethiopia.
My brother Dan introduced me to the rivers and mountains of British Columbia and to the work of Wayne McCrory and the Valhalla Wilderness Committee. In recent years, and in memory of many wonderful river days past, I supported protection of theIncomappleux Valley in the Cariboo region of B.C. I continue to support the courageous work of Wayne and VWC.
We all know the great contribution Suzuki has made to Canadian’s awareness of environmental issues. He is one of the first to combine solid scientific evidence with public appeal to great effect. In recent years I provided some staff training for their Vancouver office and I was inspired even more by their passion and commitment.
Other work I support includes: