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Sparks Gives

In small ways, we can make big change.

Our Sparks Gives initiative endeavors to support the needs of our local community by providing funding to help organizations that passionately work to improve the lives of those in the closely surrounding community of Sparks Street.

To show our sincere appreciation for the work our core organizations do, and the integral services they provide residents and visitors, we are contributing a cash donation and are pleased to offer additional partnership support to them in 2021.

Through our programs, festivals, and events, Sparks Gives will continue to identify and support the ever growing & ongoing needs of our neighbours. These organizations are truly the heart of our downtown core.

Join us in giving a warm welcome to our 2020-2021 Partners:

In showing our support, we will be doing Twelve Days of #SparksGives where each of the above organizations will receive their cash donation between December 7-18, 2020.

The Sparks Street BIA will continue to partner with these organizations in 2021 and we look forward to assisting in the promotion of their valuable initiatives.

This program has been made possible with thanks to our Sparks Street BIA Board of Directors.

Follow the giving stories below!

12 Days of Sparks Gives

"As Covid19 drags on, we see ever-increasing levels of need for both shelter and nutritious food.” - Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley. The food truck program began with five stops delivering about 100 meals at each stop. Now the truck has 13 locations rotating throughout Ottawa each week and delivers over 2,000 meals per week. Since the launch of the program, almost 14,000 meals have been served through the program. "The Mission will continue to do our part in collaboration with our partners and supporters to nsure that people don’t go hungry." - Tilley. SSBIA is proud to be one of these partners supporting The Ottawa Mission this holiday season and in future. In addition to #SparksGives, the SSBIA Board donated the funds for their annual general meeting (AGM) dinner this December to assist those in need. How you can help:

"The Shepherds of Good Hope is humbled by the support we have received over the pandemic from the community including from our friends on Sparks Street. During this unique holiday season, where feelings of distance and isolation are more prevalent than ever among those experiencing homelessness, we are hosting “Jingle For Hope” to share inspiring and heartfelt stories about our clients, volunteers, partners and frontline staff to demonstrate how people just like you have made a positive impact on so many individuals who live right here in our community.

Jingle for Hope is about people and we will showcase how one person can make a positive change in the lives of women and men who are experiencing homelessness and those who turn to Shepherds for support through our essential programs.

Operation Come Home is an employment, education, and support centre for homeless and at-risk youth age 16 and up. Their programs focus on what works and what matters to youth, as well as encourage personal growth of everyone as an individual. Their vision is to prevent homeless youth from becoming homeless adults and they strive to create a professional, non-judgmental, caring, confidential, consistent, youth-centered environment that empowers youth, staff and volunteers to actively promote: advocacy, youth success through opportunity, adaptability, integrity and equality through a team approach while maintaining respect for human worth and dignity.

More information on how you can help and donate can be found here:

This Wednesday, December 9, Operation Come Home (OCH) teams up with Intempo Design Studio and Jamiee Horn for a one-hour yoga session, ‘Rituals for Rest’. It is a pay-what-you-like event, with a limit of 100 participants - first 10 to register have their donation paid by Intempo Design Studio. All proceeds are going to OCH. You can register here:

The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region is at the centre of our community, helping people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities live engaging, more rewarding lives. A charity dedicated to the health of individuals, families and communities, the Y is accessible to all, serving more than 90,000 people in our region each year. Their programs and services are tailored to local community needs and they work to build healthy communities. Interested in donating? Click here.

The YMCA-YWCA offers many different programs, including their Employment Access Centre which is hosting weekly webinars to assist you in your job search! For more information about the upcoming schedule, and to register for events, click here.

"Each month, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) serves more than 3,000 young people and their families in the areas of youth housing and homelessness, mental health and counselling, employment and training, and youth justice. YSB operates two Emergency Youth Shelters – the only shelters specifically for youth in the city. With housing as the ultimate goal, YSB supports youth leaving their shelters with the necessities for success, including Housing Start-Up Kits. Each Housing Start-Up Kit will include a grocery gift card, cleaning supplies (plunger, dish soap, all-purpose spray, etc.), basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.), kitchen items (utensils, oven mitts, glasses, etc.) and towels, nicely packed inside a laundry basket. These important kits will help youth establish themselves as they rebuild their lives and become independent. With support from Sparks Gives, YSB will be able to provide 2 deserving youth Housing Start-Up Kits as they transition to their own apartments." You can help too and DONATE HERE.

OCAPDD provides support to hundreds of persons with developmental disabilities, in every aspect of life whether seeking work opportunities, securing living arrangements or dealing with day-to-day tasks. OCAPDD has several initiatives including Hearty Tails which are packaged pet treats made by OCAPDD clients and sold to help support the approximate 100 volunteer handlers and their dogs at the non-profit, Ottawa Therapy Dogs. They have also become known for their garlic growing on Silver Spring Farm. OCAPDD strives to ensure their clients’ EmployAbility and offers a Supported Work Program which includes orientation and training at the job site with follow up. This allows individuals to stay employed for lengthy periods of time. OCAPDD’s vision: “Individuals with a developmental disability live healthy, safe and secure lives as participating members of society, through equitable access to the broadest range of societal supports and opportunities.” Sparks Street BIA & MA is a proud partner with OCAPDD for more than a decade now. You too can support them through their various programs and initiatives or DONATE!

Each year the Centretown Emergency Food Centre raises almost half of its revenue through donations from individuals, local businesses and foundations. The rest comes from a grant from the City of Ottawa and generous contributions from its parent organization, Centretown Churches Social Action Committee and its member churches. The Food Centre has always welcomed people of all faiths and backgrounds and has treated its clients with dignity and compassion, in a non-judgemental manner. Over the years, the Food Centre has worked to expand its food offerings, to increase the amount of fresh food and toiletries offered to clients, to offer up-to-date information on other social services and complementary resources, and to provide nutritional guidance and tips on food preparation and thrifty shopping. It provides special support for as many clients, especially families, as possible, over Christmas period. The Food Centre welcomes DONATIONS to help purchase the extra food they need to serve their clients.

Dalhousie Food Cupboard has been operating for its community since 1985. Their mandate is ‘to provide emergency food and ease the financial burden of our neighbours who are unable to secure a steady supply of groceries.’

Throughout the year, they put donations they receive towards fresh foods to fill their weekly orders and provide their clients with healthy, delicious foods to help them achieve a balanced diet within a limited food budget. They source locally where possible and do their best to provide opportunities to improve food literacy and skills by offering recipes and nutritional information. You can help: DONATE!

The Good Companions provides opportunities for senior individuals to participate in social, recreational, educational and volunteer activities and benefit from social and health services. The Centre’s main priorities are social integration, affordability and accessibility. All of this is a continued effort amidst our changing health environment. The Good Companions provide meals and refreshments as well as health services including wellness and social programs/services. Special programs and volunteer assistance are also made available for frail or disabled seniors. The Centre has been growing and expanding their programs and offerings since 1955 and depends on community support to continue on - all donations of every amount helps! If you have the means to donate, you can do so HERE.

To Join in any of their upcoming online events, including their Holiday Tea or Christmas Eve reading of T’was the Night Before Christmas, trivia, riddles and more, you can find registration here!

The Street Outreach Service primary mandate will be to provide transport of homeless individuals on the street to safe shelter. This community service is seen as a major effort to reduce harm and provide further supports to the homeless. The primary mandate of the service is to provide transportation to safe shelter, thus reducing the risk of victimization, physical and emotional crisis. For those who refuse transportation to shelter, the street outreach services supplies basic survival items such as sleeping bags, blankets, footwear, seasonal clothing and hygiene products. Street Outreach Service connects all homeless individuals it works with to community resource by providing ‘warm referrals’ based on individual client need. During extreme heat alerts, the street outreach service extends its service hours and provides bottled water, sun block, cool down information, and keeps clients informed on the signs of dehydration, sun burn, and heat stroke. During cold weather alerts, the street outreach service increases to a 24 hour service and continues a 24 hour service until the extreme cold alert is over. During this time period outreach will give out more winter clothing and convince/transport street people to shelter. Outreach will also keep clients informed on frostbite and hypothermia. Get Involved

Every year The Salvation Army’s Ottawa Booth Centre (OBC) brings hope and sustenance to thousands of families. It provided many with emergency disaster services. It provides many more with food, clothing, comfort and practical assistance.

The Red Kettle Christmas Campaign is the organization’s most significant annual fundraising initiative. It is more important today than it was in 1882 when Captain Joseph McFee collected donations in a kettle pot. He used those funds to serve Christmas meals to the poor folk of San Francisco.

These days, Kettle proceeds support the OBC’s Community and Family Services programs the year round. They also fully fund our Residential Life Skills Program and our children’s summer camp activity.

Last year more than 40 Kettle locations were attended by hundreds of Bell Ringers across Ottawa, raising much-needed funds.

Did you know?

  • All funds raised in Ottawa remain in Ottawa. Kettle funds provide comfort and sustenance to many thousands of people in greater Ottawa.

  • Our Christmas Kettle venues attract pedestrian interest. They also enable you to give to those in need while doing your holiday shopping.

So please place a cash donation into a nearby Kettle during the fund-raising campaign.

The drive runs from late November until Christmas Eve.

A safe place for a fresh start. The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre (DSYTC) is a non-profit, residential, and community-based agency that is dedicated to helping youth (13-21) and families across Ontario overcome substance use and related issues and to achieve a healthier lifestyle. With separate evidence-based programs tailored to the specific needs of young men and women, it is the only Centre of its kind in Eastern Ontario.

For over 25 years the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre has helped thousands of youth and their families in Ottawa and across Ontario walk a path to wellness and help bring families back together.

We save young lives. We give hope to families. "We help youth define and discover a new future for themselves – one that is filled with hopes and dreams for the future. One that is paved with goals to reach for and to stay connected to. We help youth who come to us to heal from past trauma. We help youth manage the mental health issues they may often face and we help them overcome their substance abuse issues.

We help rebuild families who have reached or passed the breaking point. We counsel family members on what substance dependency is and how to communicate in healthy ways to rebuild what has been shattered. We see parents who have lost hope for their child and for what they envisioned a family could be. We help parents rebuild what they think they have lost and help them come to a place where a new beginning, a brighter future is possible.

We can not do this alone and that’s why our philanthropy team needs your continued support to help our youth.

The DSYTC both welcomes and appreciates the involvement of community members. This engagement includes supporting DSYTC programs and clientele through financial donations. It may also include applying for available career, volunteer, or student placement opportunities.

Help support powerful stories of hope and resiliency and in so doing, motivate, educate and inspire others.

This year, As we mourn the loss of our visionary founder, Dave Smith, we’re also reminded of his amazing accomplishments and the larger-than-life shoes he left for us to fill. "

For over 50 years, Meals on Wheels, a not-for-profit agency, has been dedicated to providing nutritious meals, daily check-ins, and comfort with a smile. Their daily hot meal program and weekly frozen meals paid services are available on both a short-term and long-term basis to eligible clients.

In addition to providing nutritious meals, this volunteer-based program allows members of the community to remain in their homes as an alternative to costly retirement or nursing residences. Daily visits from Meals on Wheels volunteers provide peace of mind and support to their loved ones and themselves.

Meals on Wheels provides Christmas meals to over 100 clients ever year. As many are homebound and live alone, it is a service they are proud to offer and SSBIA is proud to support. This year, because of COVID, delivering meals on Christmas Day will be even more special as many may not be around family or loved ones.

This year, their goal is to reach $2000 which will help cover the cost of meals plus a special gift for each client. If you have the capacity to DONATE, please do so!

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