Written by FH Staff
This Canada Day, we’re celebrating why, as a charity, we’re proud to represent Canada to the world. Canadians are smart, creative, funny, humble, diverse, and courageous people who are obviously committed to making the world a better place. Thanks for being awesome, Canada! Go us!
For starters, Tim Hortons. Our Abbotsford office knows from personal (dare we say, daily?) experience that Timmy’s can out donut Starbucks the way Canadians out donate Americans any day of the week!
The world knows that in Canada, we believe our diversity is our strength. And so does Food for the Hungry (FH)! Worldwide, 98 per cent of FH staff work in their country of origin (i.e. are non-western) and most are from the Global South.
Canada is wild! Seventy per cent of the world’s wilderness is located in just five countries; of those, Canada holds the second-largest area of wilderness after Russia. Cherishing and protecting these wild spaces is key to slowing climate change. We love this part of our national identity! A huge piece of FH identity overseas is fighting climate change with innovative agriculture practices (including planting more trees!).
Canada has a long and proud, though not untainted, history of peacekeeping in war-torn and volatile countries. Peace is necessary for development to succeed and foundational to a community’s thriving. We’re so grateful for countries like Canada who help make FH work possible.
The Olympics! Canada has hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice—in Calgary in 1988 (remember Cool Runnings?) and in Vancouver in 2010 (where the men’s hockey team set a record by taking gold for the eighth time!). All to say, Canada values the power of sport, and so does FH. We promote kids sports clubs and provide sports equipment to schools. Children everywhere love to be active and dream of playing on a team where they can learn to work together, gain confidence, and develop their individual skills.
Canada is a nation of people who share what we have, no matter how little that might be. We know the power of taking care of “the other”, even when things get tight. You might be surprised to hear that in Canada, families with the lowest incomes (less than $20K a year) actually INCREASED their giving by 2.8 per cent! We’re a people who know that when we share, we all have enough.
We’re No. #1! 🏆 Literally—Canada was voted the number one country to live in…by Americans (US News & World Report)! 😂 And that doesn’t surprise anyone at our FH Canada office…we’ve got three converted Americans on staff who are now proudly Canadian (or at least working toward it).
Canadian charities put our money where our mouth is. As a group, we spend 90 per cent of our income on programs and services, and only 10 per cent on administration and fundraising.
Canada cares about people beyond its borders. The Canadian government took the lead on responding to the Myanmar Rohingya crisis when it first hit the international stage. Today, while much of the rest of the world has moved on, Canada is keeping its promises and being true to its commitment to helping.
Pot Stickers, Tandoori, Perogies, Sushi, Jerk Chicken, Fish and Chips, this list could go on for pages! Canada is home to amazing cuisine—a testimony to our rich multiculturalism and to our awareness that food brings people together. FH Canada has partner communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and we love learning from their kitchens. Try some of their recipes; it’s a great way to connect with the heart of a people far away while grounding yourself in something truly Canadian—enjoying a good meal with others!
Canadians can be proud that a LOT of us give! Over a quarter of Canadians—29.13 per cent!—give to charitable causes. In 2019, the average yearly donation amount in Canada was $2,219.64.
Canada has universal health care. We may not all love the system all of the time, but we have it! As a nation, we’ve said health is a priority. As a Canadian development organization, FH Canada proudly carries that priority into the communities we serve. Health is one of the four pillars in our strategy to help communities move from stuck to thriving.
Your taxes are helping. The Canadian government is actually increasing its commitment to helping other countries. Canada’s international assistance spending increased by 27 per cent to $8.4 billion in 2021, up from $6.6 billion in 2020.
As a country, Canada recognizes there are injustices and inequalities within our own borders. Nationwide efforts to listen, learn, and take steps toward reconciliation with our Indigenous brothers and sisters are increasing. Reconciliation is a big part of FH Canada’s international work, too. As a Canadian organization, we’re also taking (baby) steps to practice what we preach here at home. Most recently, our staff completed the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation hosted through the First Nations University of Canada. We highly recommend it!
We say eh, toque, zed, loonies & toonies, keener, and “for sure”. Our English is clearly superior to the other 60+ nations who claim it as their official language (please hear our tongue-in-cheek tone, here).
Canada’s younger generations still believe in the power of coming together to do something good. According to the 2022 Giving Report, 71 per cent of Gen Z and 66 per cent of Millennials “strongly agree” that they trust charities, higher than both Baby Boomers and Generation X. The future is in good hands!
Canada has freedom of religion. You can wear a turban, burka, or crucifix and be welcome at most tables. This is no small freedom! As a Christian not-for-profit, FH cherishes our freedom to name “God as our Foundation” as one of our four core values. God’s love compels us and his power energizes us to work tirelessly for a poverty-free world. Find out what we mean (and DON’T mean) when we call ourselves Christian.
Canadian education is top notch! And we’re happy to share it. This academic year, nearly 622,000 international students were registered in Canada. Not only does Canada bring people in to share education, but it also expands access to and quality of education across the world through organizations like FH Canada. Education is one of FH Canada’s four pillars of development. We’re even winning awards for it in Ethiopia!
Canadians have a reputation for being a peace-loving people. In fact, the Global Peace Index ranked our country among the top 10 most peaceful countries in the world for nearly a decade! In a world that’s rife with conflict and violence, the value of peace cannot be underestimated.
Whenever a Canadian celebrity is mentioned in conversation Canadians will always point it out. And why shouldn't we? After all, Canada produces a lot of performers and innovators! It's given the world Sandra Oh, Matthew Perry (Friends revival, anyone?), Avril Lavigne, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Drake, and thousands others! What's more, Canada makes room for refugee and immigrant creatives to show their talents, too, becoming home to music artists like K’naan, inventors like Alexander Graham Bell (call anyone lately?), and basketball stars like Steve Nash. Thanks for keeping your borders open, Canada!
In 2019, “helping the poor” was the most popular reason named for charitable giving in Canada.Food for the Hungry Canada’s purpose—to end poverty, one community at a time—is in sync with what’s on the heart of the average Canadian.
If Steven Colbert thinks Canada is awesome, shouldn’t everyone?
Thank you, Canada!