In the heart of Calgary, a small charitable initiative emerged at St. Stephen Protomartyr parish, demonstrating that a collective spirit of kindness can grow into a movement that spans across various communities. What started as a modest effort has now expanded to include numerous churches, schools, and organizations, providing essential items to thousands in need. Let’s explore how these initiatives have evolved, especially in the face of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.


St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish – Calgary

St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish in Calgary has become a beacon of hope for those in need. The parish not only maintains food gift cards but has also organized impactful events such as a food drive that collected around 500 lbs of food for the Veteran’s Food Bank. During the pandemic, they adapted to the new normal by supporting local organizations like JacketRacket and Street Sisters, ensuring that the assistance reaches those who need it the most.


Saint Sophia Parish – Sherwood Park

In Sherwood Park, the HIHO (Happiness is Helping Others) committee at Saint Sophia Parish has been making a difference since 2006. Their recent activities include a Bountiful Harvest fall food drive and a winter collection of blankets, sleeping bags, and winter clothing for the homeless. Looking forward, they are expanding their outreach efforts, focusing on initiatives like knitting/crocheting twiddlemuffs for dementia patients and supporting the Strathcona County “Safe Place Women’s Shelter.”


Saint Josaphat Cathedral – Edmonton

The Needy Fund at Saint Josaphat Cathedral in Edmonton conducts monthly collections to support various charities, including Marian Centre, Bissell Centre, Hope Mission, and more. This initiative highlights the importance of consistent community support to ensure that those facing hardships receive assistance regularly.


Holy Eucharist Parish – Edmonton

At Holy Eucharist Parish in Edmonton, the community comes together during the Pylypiwka-Nativity Fast, collecting food and clothing for the less privileged in the neighborhood. With a commitment to helping others, the parish donates funds to organizations like the Marian Centre, Bissell Centre, and Mustard Seed, showcasing their dedication to creating positive change.


Saint Vladimir Parish – Red Deer

In Red Deer, Saint Vladimir Parish organized a food drive for the local food bank, aligning it with Holodomor Commemorations. Additionally, the UCWLC Parish Branch held a unique “bake less bake sale” fundraiser to raise funds for a food hamper for a local women’s shelter, highlighting the creativity in fundraising for a good cause.


Pastoral Centre, Eparchy of Edmonton

The Pastoral Centre in the Eparchy of Edmonton goes beyond the traditional charity model, actively engaging in making sandwiches and preparing bag lunches for the homeless and working poor. Their “Armchair Gala” initiative redirects a portion of every donation to a local soup kitchen or food bank, emphasizing the importance of not only providing financial support but also direct assistance.

In communities like Lethbridge, Radway, and even smaller parishes, the spirit of giving is alive and well. Direct donations, support for specific projects, and creative fundraisers showcase the diversity of efforts across different regions, all driven by the common goal of helping those in need.

As these charitable initiatives continue to thrive, they serve as inspiring examples of the positive impact communities can have when they come together with compassion and determination. In the face of challenges, these endeavors remind us that, indeed, happiness is found in helping others.