The magical summer months are fast approaching. Eight weeks of pure bliss. Children are out of school, the weather is warm, and the days are wonderfully long. Families celebrate this fun time by going to the beach, taking road trips throughout the country, hanging out in the park, spending weekends at the family cottage, hosting BBQs, and more!

But, while you soak up the sun and enjoy this summer, how can you give back to great causes?

Here are a few ideas!

1. Gather up Textbooks

A great way to give is donating things you don’t need any longer. Your children (whether they are in grade two or third year university) have storybooks or textbooks from past years, so why don’t you pass them along to your local library or university library? They are of great value to families who struggle to afford these educational tools, and can make a real difference in a child’s education.

2. Send a Kid to Camp

Every year, in Canada, Tim Horton’s select one day in the summer to give a generous portion of its profits to subsidize children who cannot afford to go to summer camp. Tim Horton’s sends these kids to camp for a week in the summer so they can enjoy all the wonderful activities camp offers; from canoeing, to arts and crafts, to bonfires! This year, the coffee company raised 12.4 million dollars, sending 18,00 kids to camp! Supporting organizations like this really does make a difference.

There is also a Salvation Army camping program that provides thousands of children each year with an opportunity to learn more about themselves and the world around them, enjoy nature, participate in sports, make new friends, learn new skills and have fun.

3. Charitable Walks/Runs

During the summer months, there are countless walks and runs you can participate in with the proceeds going directly to a charitable organization.

For example, Manitobans can participate in the annual Walk for Water in communities around Lake Winnipeg. The proceeds go to support the Lake Winnipeg Foundation’s ongoing effort to protect and restore one of the largest fresh water lakes. Torontonians, on the other hand, can choose to participate in other runs, from the Pride & Remembrance Run, to the Relay For Life.

The options are ample – just research your own province for active and charitable endeavours!

4. Community Gardens

Not all charitable contributions are financial; you can donate your time. Community gardens are a great way to practice sustainability, foster relationships amongst community members, and promote healthy lifestyles. So go out and enjoy the wonderful weather while you make your community a little greener!

5. Women’s World Cup/Pan Am Games

This summer, Canada has the great opportunity of hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Pan Am Games. If you have the interest and the time, why not volunteer at one of the sporting events. Cities across Canada needs volunteers to help these international sporting matches run smoothly, and Toronto needs all the help it can get to organize and execute the Pan Am Games!