Providing Reloadable Grocery Cards in Chilliwack, B.C. with The Giving Group

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Providing Point

Providing Point is the grocery card branch of The Giving Group.  We provide reloadable grocery cards locally in Chilliwack, B.C.

The Giving Group

The Giving Group is the parent registered Canadian chairty for Providing Point and Chilliwack Housing Providers.

Chilliwack Housing Providers

Chilliwack Housing Providers aims to provide rent subsidies and also work with existing organizations to provide shelter support locally.

Why We Do What We Do

The Giving Group began with the question, “What could we do if everyone in our town gave $5/month?”

The answer is, “to house every local homeless person and provide them groceries.”

If every person gave $5/month, we could house 300 people with $950/month rent and $100/week of groceries.  Granted, we may find cheaper rent than $950/month, yet it’s a figure to work with.

Where The Seed Fund Began

In a series of books called The Fountains, the idea to gather and share grocery cards locally sprouted in 2017.  In subsequent books, the idea to found a non-profit called Providing Point began.  After another few books, The Giving Group, the legally registered name for the non-profit solidified.

As of July 2021, the company received its legal charity designation and is now able to issue and honour tax receipts for all donations.  Although the initial idea was $5/month from all community members, it’s not rational to expect 100% support.  Now, with both Patreon and DonorBox as the two primary giving channels, the goal is to reach 2,500x $25/month providers.
Where We Were in 2018-2020

By the close of 2018, we had gathered $485 and had funded $330 onto our four to six reloadable $10/month cards over the course of that year.  In 2019, we shared $1,055 total and increased the $10/month to $15/month.  By 2020, shared $3,100 on the year from our providers (odnors) and had 18x active $15/month cards.  We partnered with Ruth and Naomi’s in 2020 too.

Where We Were in 2021-2022

In July 2021, we legally registered The Giving Group as a Canadian Charity and could then issue valid tax receipts.  We had increased the amount per month from $15 to $25 and had a few $100-$200 one-time donations.  By the close of 2021, we had shared more than $9,000 on our cards since the program’s inception.  Our goal then (and still is) is to gather more routine monthly providers for The Giving Group.  

Where We Were in 2023

In 2023, The Giving Group was still open and active with the majority of our cardholders being part of Ruth and Naomi’s.  We found ourselves in need of addtional donors, and aimed to gather more $25/month patrons via Donorbox to sustainably support our cardholders.  We were stable at $25/month support, yet wanted to provide $50/month soon.

Where We Would Like to Be in 2024

In 2024, The Giving Group would like to expand the number of our $25/month donors to provide stronger support for our cardholders.  Rob (the chairman’s) vision, wish, and dream is to reach 100x $100/month cards so that people have the freedom to choose what they want to buy at the grocery store with provided support from members of The Giving Group.

The Vision and Wish of The Giving Group

Although we know we can’t do it on our own, the wish is that all people may have a home and adequate food for themselves and their families.  The vision is to house all locally in conjunction with other organizations.  It also would be amazing to see other Providing Points spout in other cities and towns.  Bit by bit, grain by grain, and seed by seed.

The Number of People in Need (Homeless in Chililwack)

There are 306 people homeless in Chilliwack, and a great deal more (children and seniors) who are in poverty in town too.

The Amount Required for Housing (The Local Homeless Population)

If to provide rent for 306 people (at $950/month rent), it requires 11,628 people to contibute $25/month towards housing.

The Amount Required for Food (For All Under the Poverty Line)

If If 14.8% of the local population is below the poverty line, providing those 15,000 people $100/week groceries will cost $6.5 million per month ($78 million per year).

The Total Amount We’ll Need to Gather (To Ensure All Are Covered)

To provide 1,000 people with $950/month rent and 15,000 people with $100/week groceries, the total needed per year is $7.45 million per month ($89.4 million per year).

What Can We Do?

Giving to charity is helpful, so please think about poviding support for The Giving Group, though there are other ways you may provide.  If you see someone busking or panhandling, give them a bit of cash.  If you don’t have cash, give them a smile and a hi or hello!  If you want to provide even better, think about volunteering your time and money to organizations who support those in need in your local area.  Here are some ideas about how to provide.

Volunteer Your Time

If you have time (and transportation) give 2-4 hours a week to a program that needs and wants support.  (Seniors are in a big need of support also).  Call your local charities to see how you may help.

Volunteer Your Money

If you’re concerned about donating your time, $60/week to a program or cuase is like giving 3-4 hours (at B.C. minimum wage) to a cause or organization.  Perhaps you want to give more!

Volunteer Your Connections

If you have a strong social network, advocate for people to contribute time or money to causes you believe in.  Share donation links and be an advocate for charities to have a compounding benifical effect.

Volunteer Your Unused Items

Often, there may be many home items you no longer use.  If you find a local non-profit that collects donations, you can clear out clutter at home while also benefiting others through a great organizaion.

Other Groups to Support

There are some other organizations to support.  They cover a variety of gourps, some local, some global.

We recommend these causes as other causes to support.

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Our Team

As others join the Giving Group, we expand our potential and reach to provide.  As of 2021, The Giving Group team has been led by Rob and two to three other directors plus about twenty people who had provided donations.

Robert James Koyich

Chairman – Monthly Contributor