'Giving Advent Calendar' suggests daily causes for Edmontonians to support

An Edmonton woman is raising awareness about charities in need, one tweet at a time.

Each day, Kim Bewick tweets out information and links to a worthy Edmonton-based cause

Kim Bewick's family plans on giving $5 to a different charity each day this month - and she's posting her list in the hopes others will match her donations. (Portia Clark/CBC)

An Edmonton woman is raising awareness about charities in need, one tweet at a time.

Each day this month, Kim Bewick is taking to her blog and Twitter account to profile a different Edmonton-based charity or non-profit group she thinks is worthy and in need.

She calls it her "Giving Advent Calendar."

"The Giving Advent Calendar is a blog that each day of the month reveals a new charity located in our city, and the request that people give $5 or an in-kind donation," she said.

Each day's post includes a link to an organization that her family will be supporting.

In 2012, Kim Bewick gave each of her children $125 gift cards to spend at Safeway, allowing each to pick out what they wanted to donate to the Edmonton Food Bank. Here, Liam and Imogen prepare to pay for their hauls. (Kim Bewick)
Bewick said it was a tradition in her family to give to charity each Christmas. One year, she gave each of her kids $125 in Safeway gift cards and told them to spend it all on food donations for the Edmonton Food Bank.

"I wanted to do something different this year, I was feeling creative," she added.

It wasn't until the night of Nov. 30 that Bewick came up with the scheme of giving for this year, however.

"People will notice that the blog is not very fancy," she said with a laugh. "I wasn't really expecting anyone to pick it up right away. My idea really was to document it as a gift to my partner and then I realized 'hey, I could get other people involved too potentially.' "

After sitting down and brainstorming, Bewick and her partner came up with the 25 organizations they will be supporting, aiming for a representative cross-section of communities and causes.

So far, they've donated to the Bissell Centre, Win House, the Edmonton Food Bank, YESS, Hope Mission, the Rose Campaign and the Pride Centre.

"Of course, 25 days doesn't come anywhere near to covering the number of charitable organizations we have in the city doing wonderful things for various people," she added.

One week in, Bewick said she's had much better response from the community than she expected.

But she doesn't expect everyone to give $5, or to agree with the causes she and her partner chose.

"People can give whatever. I've said what I'm doing. They can do what they want to do, they can do another charity. But this way, I am giving people options," she said.

"I can't throw money at everybody, but I can give a little bit and if everybody, or a lot of people, or even a few people, got on board and gave a little bit, it adds up."

Bewick already plans to do another edition of her Giving Advent Calendar again next year.


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