Charitable Choices: Canadian Legacy Project

Our Charitable Choices feature this week is the Canadian Legacy Project. They work to provide a strong support system and a better quality of life for Canadian military veterans, to give financial assistance to veterans who are in need of this support, to build a stronger community of supporters for Canadian veterans and to volunteer time to aid to in improving quality of life for Canadian military veterans.

Canadian Legacy Project
Photo Credit: Canadian Legacy Project

Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.

Canadian Legacy Project was formed in 2008 with the goal to develop and support programs for our Canadian military veterans who are having a difficult time transitioning to civilian life. Our focus is to develop projects and partnerships which are not currently being offered through Veterans Affairs and are underfunded, to ensure that the needs for our Canadian military veterans are being met.

Canadian Legacy Project has no staff and run by volunteers and we are proud to note that 95 cents on every dollar donated goes directly into our programs across Canada. Our programs are directed to support our veterans with PTSD, those experiencing homelessness, service dog support, education, employment training, and food.

What problem does it aim to solve?

The goal of Canadian Legacy Project is to help our Canadian veterans in their transition to civilian life. We and our donors support our veterans in their time of need.

When did you start/join it?

I started the charity in 2008 after a visit with my Grandfather. He was suffering from PTSD and was an alcoholic. What I saw was a broken man that needed help and wasn’t reaching out for it. I knew we could do a better job helping those that once stood on guard for our country and so I started the Canadian Legacy Project with my family.

What made you want to get involved?

As a group, we felt the message about our Canadian veterans who are suffering needs to be told and programs to help them in their transition needed to be developed and supported. Veterans Affairs in doing what they can be based on their budget, but we as Canadians also need to step up in their time of need.

What was the situation like when you started?

Sadly what we found was there were a number of charities who claimed to support our veterans but the actual dollars that were being directed to veterans was low. We believe there needs to be better transparency and that donors deserve to know where their donation dollars are going.

How has it changed since?

Overall things are getting better because more and more Canadians are learning about the struggles some of our veterans are having when they leave the Canadian Armed Forces. It is now not just something Canadians recognise on November 11 but something that is talked about and supported every day. Our younger generations are also getting more involved in supporting our veterans and charities as a whole. They are volunteering their time and are on the front lines of making change happen, this is very encouraging.

What more needs to be done?

Transparency is a big issue. There are still veteran charities that are not disclosing staff salaries and where their donations dollars are being directed.

How can our readers help?

We are always looking for individuals, social groups, and corporations to support us financially and volunteers to help with all our projects. Beyond that, we encourage all Canadians to pay tribute to those that stood on guard for our country by simply thanking them for their service. Most of all when you support charities look them up on the CRA web site, you will be able to see where your dollars could be going.

Do you have any events coming up?

We have an annual concert event in support of the charity and to recognise and host our veterans and current serving military. The event is scheduled for November 7th at the Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary but the band has not been announced. We also hold our annual funding drive from October 20th to November 15th.

Where can we follow you?

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Calgary charity that you love?

We are a big supporter and co-founder of the Homes for Heroes Foundation. Their goal is to end the issue of homelessness among our Canadian veteran population through the provision of tiny home communities and full wrap-around social services. The first village has opened in Calgary with the next planned for Edmonton. Lands have also been identified in B.C., Manitoba, and Ontario.