Health and Wellness

Each weekend in the spring seems to bring another run, walk or bike a-thon to support a different charity seeking to eradicate a different illness or disease. With so many charities and fundraising events, it’s hard to understand who does what, and how you can participate.

In Canada there are almost six thousand health related organizations that fund research, provide education or care for those who are sufferers by providing counselling, resources or support. Let’s consider an illness like cancer. There are broad-based organizations, like the Canadian Cancer Society, that focus on general fundraising initiatives, education and research projects, but there are also organizations that focus on particular types of cancers, like Julyna, which raises money for research and education specifically related to cervical cancer. There are also organizations that focus on the needs of patients, like the Ronald McDonald House, which gives families a place to stay if their children need treatment away from home.

To learn more about the complex nature of the health industry and related charities, take a look at Charity Intelligence’s Cancer Report. In April 2011, when the report was written there were 278 charities in Canada that focused specifically on cancer, each with a slightly different mandate. As they describe the different types of cancer, research initiatives and impact on those affected, it becomes clear how multifarious the needs are and why there are so many different charities.

In addition to charities that focus on one type of illness, there are also foundations for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In fact, most hospitals in Canada have a foundation that raises money and awareness for their patients. The Women’s College Hospital Foundation is a great example of this type of foundation.

It is also worth noting, there are many organizations that provide long term assistance for people who have been affected by different types of disease or disabilities. The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work offers various training programs and solutions for people with disabilities who are seeking employment. They also host an online career development and employment portal to link Canadians with disabilities and employers looking to hire.