Debut of ‘24 Good Deeds’ advent calendar in Canada supports charities worldwide

Ute Shaw launches North America’s version of 24 Good Deeds

Many people make advent calendars part of their holiday tradition, delighting in opening a numbered door each day to reveal a chocolate or sweet inside. 

But the advent calendar offered by an organization called 24 Good Deeds is different. The big reveal each day is learning which charity part of your $24 calendar purchase is supporting. 

“24 good deeds on 24 days for $24,” said Ute Shaw, founder of 24 Good Deeds North America, as she explained the simple process of her advent calendar. 

Movement began in Germany

24 Good Deeds is a charity founded in Germany in 2011 by philanthropic siblings Sebastian and Johanna Wehkamp. Shaw, who was born in Germany, noticed the calendars were only available in Europe and wanted to change that, so she contacted the siblings.

Shaw, who now lives in Toronto, thought it was especially timely to create positive change amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why she debuted 24 Good Deeds in North America during the holiday season in 2020.

Shaw holding the 2020 advent calendar. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Each advent calendar purchase supports 24 different charities. They include organizations that vaccinate people in third-world countries, food banks, wildlife protection agencies and more.

For example, on day 23, you might help a school child in Bhutan receive clean drinking water for three days.

“We have charities in the department of health care, nutrition, education, and environmental,” said Shaw. 

136,243 ‘good deeds’ in 2020

The calendar’s first Canadian edition, which is made with grass paper and all-natural dyes, helped 136,243 good deeds be completed. This means it raised a total of $136,243 for 24 charities.

“I really like it. I was quite excited to get it,” said Debra Rastin, who purchased two calendars in December 2020. 

After the holiday season came to an end, Shaw continued to receive requests to donate to 24 Good Deeds. “We had quite a few people asking to donate in January,” she said. “That is awesome, absolutely fantastic.”

24 Good Deeds advent calendar opened. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Second Harvest, a food insecurity program that redistributes unsold food to charities and Indigenous communities, and is one of seven Canadian-based projects that 24 Good Deeds supported in 2020.

“Since COVID-19 hit, there has been an increase in Canadians facing food insecurity,” Jessica Westwood-Smith, senior manager of strategic partnerships for Second Harvest, said in an interview via Zoom. “So, it was very timely, a really great initiative to take part in.” 

COVID-19 vaccinations for children part of 2021 goal

With each calendar purchase, Second Harvest was able to rescue two pounds of healthy food and prevent it from going to landfill.

Shaw is also working on an app so contributors can donate all year. “I had a lot of people wanting to donate after Christmas. So, we are working on an app right now so you’ll be able to donate all year around,” she said.

24 Good Deeds’s 2020 achievements. SUBMITTED

The 2021 Canadian calendar will also aim to vaccinate citizens in third world countries with a COVID-19 vaccine. 

If you want to check out how 24 Good Deeds works or find out more about them, you can find more information here.

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Posted: Apr 18 2021 5:26 pm
Filed under: News