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Guide to Giving: These non-profits in New West could use your support

If you're in a position to make a donation, contribute goods or volunteer, these are some of the non-profits that would appreciate your support
Fraserside Community Services - celebrating its 50th year in 2022 - is one of the New West-based non-profits that welcomes your support.

It’s the time of years when many people are gathering with friends, family and coworkers, shopping for gifts checking out light displays and holiday events. But it’s also the time of year when many folks are struggling.

For the past 26 years, the Record has assembled a Guide to Giving as a way of helping to connect community members to non-profits that are helping out folks on a variety of fronts in New Westminster. Whether you have some time to spare, some items to donate or some cash to contribute, these are some of the local organizations that could use your support — so they can help others all year round.

Aunt Leah’s Place

What does it do?

Aunt Leah’s Place helps prevent children in foster care from becoming homeless when they age out of the system and lose government support, and helps mothers in need from losing custody of their children. Aunt Leah’s programs are a lifeline for these young people — providing housing, essential life skills, mental health support, education and job training.

Aunt Leah’s Place’s “family model of care” aspires to mirror what B.C. families provide their own children through early adulthood.

How can you help?

You can help Aunt Leah’s mission of supporting foster youth this holiday season by purchasing a Christmas tree, a potted tree, or a wreath from one of their three charity tree lots (Burnaby, Coquitlam and Vancouver) or by making a donation directly through their website.

“We want to thank everyone who chooses to volunteer, buy a tree, and make a donation to Aunt Leah's,” said Craig Lenske, acting director of operations. “Foster youth face enormous challenges, and their futures become brighter because of your support; 1,100 youth age out of care in B.C. each year. Last year Aunt Leah's helped 620 young people thanks to you."

Contact info?

Phone 604-525-1204 or visit for more information.

Century House Association

What does it do?

Century House, a recreation centre for adults aged 50 and older, was built in 1958 by the City of New Westminster. Its purpose is to provide year-round leisure, educational and social activities for senior adults and to provide an environment where members feel positive self-worth through acceptance by others, belonging, community, recognition, contribution and achievements.

The Century House Association, which works collaboratively with city's parks and recreation department, currently has 45 activity groups and a growing membership of 2,100. It offers a wide range of activities, including registered programs, volunteer opportunities, special events, bus trips and Connections Café, as well as some activities with the youth centre that’s located in the same building in Moody Park. Other services include the peer support program, support groups, committees, leadership training, and safe spaces (including Senior Gay Straight Alliance) and performance-based activity committees, including theatre and music.

How can you help?

Century House Association, a registered charity, greatly appreciates financial donations, which support its activity groups, services and events. You can choose to donate to general, peer support, the bursary fund or wherever it is needed.

To make a tax deductible donation or to leave a legacy through your will, contact the front office or donate online at the Century House Association home page.

Contact info?

Century House is located at 620 Eighth St. For more info, call 604-519-1066 or visit

Century House Association Peer Support – CHAPS

What does it do?

The Century House Association Peer Support program supports trained senior volunteers to provide emotional support to seniors in a one-on-one format.  Peer support volunteers are trained to support people through life’s transitions, such as bereavement, loneliness/isolation, downsizing, moving, and/or the loss of a friend or partner, as well as listening to caregivers who need to talk.

The Peer Support Program (formerly the Senior Peer Counselling Program) provides confidential, no-cost, one-to-one support. Peer support can be in person, over the phone or via Zoom. During its 35-year history, the program has supported individuals suffering from effects of dementia, physical injury, mental health and addictions, social isolation and depression.

How can you help?

Donations are an essential part of CHAPS’ yearly fundraising and are tax deductible.

Contact info?

To donate online go to then enter Century House Senior Citizens Activity Association in the search box and then choose the Senior Peer Counsellors option. You can also donate by cheque or cash at the Century House front desk. Cheques should be made payable to Century House Association — Senior Peer Counsellors. For further information call Pat McDonald at the peer counselling office at 604-519-1064

Don’t Go Hungry

What does it do?

Don't Go Hungry is a food hamper program in New Westminster and south Burnaby that now serves more than 1,300 people every Saturday in four locations, thanks to over 150 community volunteers and community partners. Two-thirds of those served are families, including more than 400 children.

Designed for the working poor who cannot access weekday food programs and launched in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s finding that the need continues to grow due to the rising costs and the loss of work time due to health.

“The number of new people accessing food support is increasing — almost double from this time last year. With the cost of housing, food, gas, and general living increasing, people are looking for ways to stretch their dollar,” said Rev. Laurie McKay of St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church. “Hunger may be hidden. Perhaps it's time to invite people over for a shared meal, or bring them a portion from your table — even if it is soup.”

Most people in the Don’t Go Hungry lineup are families, new arrivals to Canada, seniors, people on disability allowance or waiting to get it, and the hardworking poor.

“Food is a universal welcome. Food warms the belly and our hearts,” McKay said. “When tables are heavy laden this Christmas, please remember other tables are empty.”

How can you help?

Don’t Go Hungry appreciates donations from food drives and donations through Canada Helps (search for St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church) at

As Christmas approaches, the program is in particular need of: personal care items (toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, feminine hygiene products, shaving cream/razors, toilet paper, diapers — especially size 5 and 6, deodorant, soap etc.); dish soap; laundry soap; canned proteins (nut butters, canned meat such as tuna and salmon, beans, chili etc.); and children’s snacks (fruit snacks, applesauce, fruit cups, snack size crackers/cookies, granola bars, etc.)

Contact info?

Visit for more details and food support locations. Donation boxes are in many banks, businesses, and civic buildings. 

Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver

What does it do?

EFry supports vulnerable women and children, in particular those at-risk, involved in or impacted by the justice system. Almost all of its clients live in poverty, with nearly two-thirds struggling to get by on less than $10,000 a year

EFry’s programs focus on shelters and housing, substance use recovery, counselling, community reintegration, skills development and employment. Its JustKids initiative provides a suite of programs specifically created to help children and youth impacted by parental homelessness, incarceration and substance use.

How can you help?

EFry gratefully accepts a wide variety of donations to help its clients. The most-needed items include: financial donations of any amount (many of its programs and supports, particularly those helping children, are funded solely by donations); grocery cards (gifts cards for grocery stores help women in deep need to bridge the gap in feeding their families); and winter gear (new or very gently used coats, rainwear, mittens, socks and boots.)

At Christmas, EFry appreciates holiday gifts for youth, as it tries to bring the holidays to thousands of children and youth each year. Toys are always welcome but an even greater need is gifts for tweens and teens; board games for youth in shelters, and gift cards to Walmart, movies, fast food or prepaid Visas are always gratefully received.

According to EFry, every donation helps make the lives of deeply poor and marginalized women and children in the community brighter.

“Need is always felt most acutely at this time of year, and the number of clients who seek our help continues to grow,” said a statement from EFry. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer holiday celebrations, warm clothing and a no-cost EFry Small Frys Toy Bank for moms and guardians to select a new gift so the kids and youth in the care have a present to open this year.”

A full list of EFry’s wish list is at

Contact info?

EFry welcomes goods and gift card donations from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its office at 402 East Columbia St. Donations can also be made by phoning 604-520-1166 or online at Financial gifts can be earmarked for particular kinds of support at donor request.

Family Services of Greater Vancouver 

What does it do?

Family Services of Greater Vancouver provides programs and services that support individuals, families and communities. Its programs are designed to help people develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to create positive change in their lives. Its efforts including helping youth experiencing homelessness, families and children impacted by trauma, victims of domestic violence, and other vulnerable people.

How can you help?

Each December, Family Services coordinates the Caring Neighbours campaign, which supports more than 1,250 low-income families, single parents, isolated seniors and marginalized youth.

“This time of year can be particularly difficult for families. High food prices and high rents are a one-two punch that is hitting low-income earners during a holiday season that should be merry and bright,” said FSGV CEO Maria Howard. “At Family Services of Greater Vancouver, we empower people every day through our programming. This giving season, we ask you to donate generously so we can continue empowering people; with Caring Neighbours we provide families and seniors with gift cards so they can buy the food and gifts that bring smiles to their loved ones.”

For Caring Neighbours, companies can get involved by becoming a corporate sponsor or fundraising for the program. Community members can make donations to the program (program sponsor Amazon is matching dollar-for-dollar donations of up to $50,000 made until Dec. 31, 2022.) For details go to

Donations are appreciated year-round (including an opportunity to provide a monthly donation) at

Volunteers, considered the heart and soul of many of Family Services’ programs, are also needed. To volunteer, go to

Contact info? 

For more information about Family Services of Greater Vancouver, visit, call 604-731-4951 or email You can also support the organization through fundraisers, including events, online fundraisers and corporate partnerships. Contact Katelynn Potter at

Fraser River Discovery Centre

What does it do? 
FRDC educates and engages people about the Mighty Fraser and celebrates the living, working Fraser River. An increasing focus is on school programs, climate change education and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through its partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band.

How can you help?

Because Fraser River Discovery Centre has no guaranteed annual funding, donations are needed to keep it going. They can be general or targeted at such areas as student education, climate change action or reconciliation.

"If you could ask the Fraser River what it needs, it would say ‘don't take me for granted!’” said Stephen Bruyneel, director of external relations and development. “With no guaranteed source of annual funding, FRDC relies on public donations to allow us to tell the environmental, social cultural and economic stories of the mighty River."

One of the programs you can support is River Champions, a provincewide climate education program for schools, whose goal is to meet with 10,000 students over two years. FRDC is also looking for support for its Place of Learning initiative with the Musqueam Indian Band, which will share the stories and teachings of the River from Indigenous perspectives.

According to FRDC, growing needs and challenges are for funding to support the centre’s staff in their work.

You can get more info at

Contact info? 

Contact Stephen Bruyneel at

Fraserside Community Services Society

What does it do?

Fraserside provides housing, employment and social supports to 900 people facing homelessness, living in poverty, suffering from chronic mental illness, substance use issues and people living with disabilities each year. Fraserside also operates a family emergency shelter for homeless families with children in New Westminster.

2022 marks Fraserside Community Services Society's 50th year serving New Westminster and surrounding communities.

“Our goal this giving season, is to be able to provide climate safe housing to people with disabilities and to provide gifts to families staying at the shelter and to adults living with developmental disabilities,” said a notice from the organization.

How can you help?

Donations in any amount are gratefully accepted, and Fraserside says they’ll make a BIG difference. Donations can be made online at or by mail at Fraserside Community Services Society, #330-550 Sixth St., New Westminster BC, V3L 3B7

Contact info?

For more information, visit: or call 604-522-3722 extension 111.

KidSport New West

What does it do?

KidSport provides funding for registration fees for kids 18 and under so that they can participate in organized sports.

“The need for sports is greater than ever for kids in New Westminster for mental and physical wellness and for connecting with peers,” said a notice from KidSport. “We work to remove the financial barriers so that New Westminster kids can get off the sidelines and get into the game. Consider donating your jersey number or challenge your friends to see who can raise more.”

KidSport is particularly focused on getting girls, Indigenous children, children new to Canada, and children with disabilities into the game. Sports are for all kids, and its efforts are #SoAllKidsCanPlay.  

How can you help?

Cash donations are always appreciated. Each child may access up to $400 per calendar year, and all funds raised in New West stay in New West.

Contact info? 

For more information, email You can donate at

Lower Mainland Purpose Society

What does it do? 

The Purpose Society has been providing social services to residents of New Westminster and neighbouring communities for close to 40 years. Founded in 1983, its vast array of services includes: a high school for students with special needs; youth and family programs; child-care centres and after-school programs; a young parent support program; rent banks in New Westminster, Burnaby and Maple Ridge; a housing support program; harm-reduction distribution; a health van that delivers harm-reduction supplies, food and blankets; drug testing; a safe consumption site; a nightly shelter; and a food distribution program.

“The staff of the Purpose Society would like to thank the many people who have supported Purpose over the past year by donating and volunteering,” said Lynda Fletcher-Gordon, acting executive director. “We also want to staff the City of New Westminster and other organizations who have worked along with us to address the myriad of social issues that have surfaced since the beginning of COVID.”

How can you help?

The Purpose Society is always in need of non-perishable food items for its hamper program, including cans of soup and stew, oatmeal, pasta, pasta sauce, lentils, chickpeas, healthier cereal, pancake mix, etc.  It also accepts baked goods, which are distributed through its nightly shelter and safe consumption site.

Donations of cash are always appreciated, and are used to buy food, hygiene products, blankets, jackets, socks and underwear. People who would like to volunteer with the food program (assembling and delivering hampers), assist in its child-care centres and assemble harm-reduction kits are always needed.

Contact info?

Call Ashley at the Purpose Society at 604-526-2522.

New West Family Place

What does it do? 

New West Family Place is a non-profit, multi-service family resource and community hub that has provided services to local families with children aged birth through five since 1989. Its mission is to build bridges between families, and between families and the community, by providing resources and programming that supports children and their caregivers.

“While we have the whole internet to peruse for every single parenting quandary – it is not enough. Many of us don’t have our people. New parents are struggling with compounding pressures of this tiny human they are responsible for, living in this very expensive place, while navigating a global pandemic that isolated families and intensified their struggles,” said executive director Dana Osiowy. “Building a community to help raise this child is critical, and New West Family Place is here with families, on this journey.”

Examples include: connecting families to the children’s librarian who can help families gain a love of reading and early literacy; connecting families to the food bank when food and money is scarce in their household; and putting on workshops for parents.

How can you help?

Financial donations support everything above and beyond Family Place’s core operational costs, including its food gift card program, its stash of emergency diapers and baby formula and its SouperHero Mondays where it make soup and shares with families to eat and take home. Fundraising also supports parenting support groups and Family Place’s outreach at community events attended by families.

Family Place welcomes volunteers for its drop-in programs and special events in the community. It also needs donations of diapers and formula and welcomes donations of arts and crafts items.

“New Westies are the besties and we are so grateful for the incredible support we have received since the word that we will have to move locations for our downtown programming,” Osiowy said. “Family Place is so much more than the space we work out of, and we know that all of New West is here to support us on our journey in finding a perfect new space so that we can continue to ensure that New West is a community where families can thrive.”

Contact info?

For more information, contact or 604-520-3666.

New Westminster Firefighters’ Charitable Society

What does it do? 

The New Westminster Firefighters’ Charitable Society is comprised of New West firefighters, who hold various fundraisers, including an annual Christmas tree chipping event, a shred-athon and a charity hockey game with the Vancouver Canucks Alumni. The society raises money for programs such as the pediatric unit at Royal Columbian Hospital, the Burn Fund and local non-profits and programs.

“The funds from our events go to a multitude of groups and programs all within New West,” said firefighter Alasdair Dunbar. “We sponsor high school students with bursaries. We help Aunt Leah’s Place, the Purpose Society and Family Place, and many more.”

How can you help? 

The charitable society is currently collecting donations of new toys (in their packaging) and gifts for teens, as well as items such as deodorant and feminine hygiene products. It will also accept donations of non-perishable food items (no expired products).

New West firefighters are holding their annual tree-chipping fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New Westminster City Hall.

“We had great success with the ‘drive-thru’ style event there, so are hoping to repeat and get another good turnout of trees which we shred by donation,” Dunbar said.

Cash, toys and food donations can be dropped off at the Glenbrook fire hall (1 East Sixth Ave.) Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cheques can be made out to the New Westminster Firefighters’ Charitable Society, 1 East Sixth Ave., New Westminster, V3L 4G6


The charitable society accepts donations and sponsorship requests through its website at

New Westminster Symphony Society

What does it do? 

In existence for more than 100 years, the New Westminster Symphony Society had 75 consecutive seasons of performances prior to COVID. The orchestra has been under the direction of Maestro Jin Zhang for 30 years.

Each year, the society puts on several concerts at the Massey Theatre and other locations. For Christmas, it teams up with the Richmond Academy of Dance for Dance into Christmas, which features festive numbers by the symphony, songs by guest singers, and various form of dance by Richmond Academy of Dance and professional performers in the principal roles of the Nutcracker.

How can you help?

If you’re musically inclined and play an instrument, the symphony is always on the lookout for new members for its orchestra. If you believe it’s important for New Westminster to have its own community orchestra to introduce the general public to the great works of composers such as Beethoven and Tchaikovsky at prices that are affordable, it hopes you would consider making a donation or becoming a sponsor so it can continue providing concerts for the enjoyment of all. If you have skill sets that you can provide as a volunteer, the society is looking for people who have a familiarity with social media, websites, marketing, promotion, fundraising and board-related roles.

“The performing arts have suffered during the past three years as a result of COVID, and the New Westminster Symphony is facing the same uncertainty as other organizations,” said John Davies, president of the New Westminster Symphony Society. “The next couple of years are going to be crucial to the survival of many of New Westminster’s home-grown, performing arts organizations, so your help is crucial. We’ve had to rebuild our orchestra over the past two years in order to be able to once again provide New Westminster with the quality of concerts that they have come to expect from us.”

Added Davies: “You don’t have to be a musician to help the symphony.”

Contact info?

Contact the New Westminster Symphony Society at   

Queen’s Park Healthcare Volunteer Society

What does it do?

The Queen’s Park Healthcare Volunteer Society raises money for resident-oriented programs and capital expenditures for the Queen’s Park Healthcare Centre and adjacent William Rudd House, a long-term care facility for young adults. It provides funding for projects and programs not funded by Fraser Health Authority.

In addition to donations, the society generates revenue through the operation of Quintessential, the gift shop in the lobby of Queen’s Park Care Centre, and the annual Homes for Holidays homes tour.

How can you help?

The society’s biggest need is for volunteers, as its goal is to open the gift shop open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so residents, staff and visitors have access to the shop.

“The extended COVID lockdown decimated our volunteer base, and rebuilding it is proving to be a challenge,” said Colleen McDonald, who coordinates the homes tour. “If you want to make a difference, we’ve got a spot for you. For a commitment of as little as three hours a week, you can make a world of difference to the quality of life for the residents of both facilities.”

Contact info?

Email Janice Cook or Colleen McDonald

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

What does it do? 

The Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is an independent charitable organization that raises funds for major projects, priority equipment needs, facility enhancements, research, education and innovation at Royal Columbian Hospital — one of B.C.’s busiest hospitals. A regional referral hospital for cardiac, trauma, neurosciences, high-risk maternity and neonatal intensive care, RCH is the only hospital in British Columbia that provides all of these services, at this level of care, on one site.

RCH is currently undergoing a multi-year, multi-phase $1.49-billion redevelopment, which includes a new acute care tower that will have an interventional super floor with operating rooms and interventional radiology and cardiology suites, a new emergency department with its own imaging unit, new and larger maternity, pediatric, and neonatal intensive care units, and multiple floors for acute and critical care patients. This second phase of redevelopment follows the completion in 2020 of a new mental health and substance use wellness centre.

“Donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation are helping to support the hospital’s redevelopment every step of the way,” said a statement from the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

How can you help? 

One-time or monthly donations are appreciated. Donors can also make donations in memory or in tribute of loved ones. A new option is to shop in an ecommerce store, where you can purchase items for patients and staff.


For more information or to make a donation, go to

Seniors Services Society

What does it do? 

Seniors Services Society of BC is a New West-based non-profit organization that connects B.C. adults age 60 and older to housing navigation services and supports that help them age well and thrive. A core element of the society is the focus on providing equitable support to the most vulnerable seniors across the province, including those who are homeless or at-risk.

How can you help?

The Seniors Services Society is currently offering its annual Santa for Seniors program, where folks pick the name of a senior from a tree at participating businesses and buy items for those folks.

People can make donations to the Seniors Services Society of BC year-round. Details about the Santa for Seniors campaign are available at

“We are grateful to the community for coming together to support vulnerable seniors during the winter months,” said Nipa Bhalla, who oversees resource development with the Seniors Services Society of BC. “Your generosity helps countless seniors transition from street to home, live independently and feel less isolated in the New Westminster community.”

To volunteer with the society, go to

Contact info? 

For more information, contact Nipa Bhalla at

St. Barnabas Church

What does it do? 

St. Barnabas calls itself “the little church that could” as it’s considered by many to be a hub in the neighbourhood around Moody Park. For decades, it’s provided outreach and support to the community in numerous ways, including food, clothing and household items.

Rev. Emilie Smith said St. Barnabas is dedicated to helping people overcome social isolation and loneliness and to supporting friendships.

How can you help?

St. Barnabas accepts donations of food for its food programs or items for its thrift store. It also greatly appreciates financial support.

“We at St. Barnabas are deeply grateful for the ongoing support for our house of welcome. We have been particularly focused for the past almost three years, on helping folks stay connected. No one needs to be alone: whether it is our sit-down Christmas meal on Christmas Day, support for newcomers, families in need, isolated seniors or people with disabilities, we are there,” Smith said. “We are also committed to working on deep issues like: reconciliation with the First Nations of these lands, support for LGBTQ+ folks, challenging the lies of consumerism, addressing the growing climate crisis.”

St. Barnabas invites folks to join its ongoing neighbourhood activities, including a community choir and a children’s music program.

Contact info?

Visit or the St. Barnabas Anglican Church, New Westminster, BC page on Facebook. You can make an online donation via the website or you can drop off or mail a cheque to 1010 Fifth Ave., New Westminster V3M 1Y5

Union Gospel Mission

What does it do? 

Union Gospel Mission has a drop-in resource centre that provides breakfast and lunch for individuals in New West. During that time, UGM outreach workers aim to develop meaningful relationships with folks to better understand where they are at in their lives and what they may be hoping to transform.

In addition, the UGM has alcohol and drug recovery centres for men and women (including new moms with infants) at several locations in Metro Vancouver, a 92-bed emergency shelter and two mobile mission rescue vehicles that deliver services to folks on the fringe. It also has an after-school homework club, career counselling services, outreach, transitional and affordable housing, and it serves around 700 meals per day.

How can you help?

People can support the UGM through its #ShareChristmas fundraising campaign

“Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for folks and families struggling with poverty, homelessness or addiction, but the smallest actions can truly lead to a changed life,” said Nicole Mucci, manager of media relations and communications. “We are hopeful that as our outreach teams connect with individuals over the holiday season, they are able to feel truly seen, loved and cared for.”

Donations are also appreciated for folks who visit the drop-in resource centre in New West.

“We also know that as the weather continues to get colder, we need cold weather survival gear to help those who don’t want somewhere warm to spend their time,” Mucci said. “These items can almost be worth their weight in gold: waterproof, warm jackets; waterproof, warm gloves; waterproof, warm shoes; socks; gloves; toques; base layers (thermal underwear, hoodies); emergency survival gear like blankets, sleeping backs, bivvy sacks.” 

Contact info:

For more information, visit or call 604-253-3323

Westminster House Society

What does it do? 

Westminster House Society has been a resource and beacon of hope in the New West community for more than 40 years. Its addiction recovery programs provide a full continuum of care to women and youth girls impacted by addiction, and it addresses nicotine, alcohol, prescription medication, substance misuse, trauma, pain management and associated mental health issues.

How can you help?

Westminster House’s Christmas wish list includes donations of warm socks and gloves, and journals for its clients.

“Many of our women and youth girl clients are without loved ones, the token comforts of Christmas, and presents over the holiday season,” said Tressa Cooper, business development assistant at Westminster House. “Contribute to our client wish list this year and make their Christmas merry and bright.”

Contact info? 

For more information about Westminster House email or call 604-524-5633. Donations can be mailed to: Westminster House Society, 228 Seventh St., New Westminster BC, V3M 3K3 

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus