It’s taken about six years for the neighbourhood around Dundas and Ontario St. to transform a run-down vacant lot into an oasis. Peek into the arched doorway just past the basketball court and you’ll see food grown by neighbourhood kids, walking paths for seniors, and a comfy patio area for informal get-togethers.

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The Federal Government is about to review rules governing charitable donations and look at boosting the tax credit. Everyone should call their MP and ask why the Federal tax credit for the first $200 of annual donations is only half the credit accorded for donations over $200! The first $200 should earn the same tax credit as the remainder of donations - and it would encourage higher donations to worthwhile charitable causes. Or does the Government think it is appropriate to skimp on the reimbursement made available to those stretching their means to donate even $200?

This blog entry is written by an attendee of the June 6th launch of a religious social action coalition to fight poverty in London.

LIFE*SPIN recently posted an on-line edition of "How To Get There From Here". It is intended to provide information directly to the individuals searching for resources and supports that will provide a foundation to move forward in their paths to self-sufficiency.

LIFE*SPIN is dedicated to providing information and support to individuals surviving on low-incomes.

Kudos to the leaders of First St. Andrews United, Metropolitan United Church, The Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Anglican), the Sisters of St. Joseph, Temple Israel of London, and the London Muslim Mosque as they challenge all of us to use our vote for the person or party who will do the most to bridge the gap between the rich and poor see London Free Press article:

Here's a practical and easy way to contribute to the fight against poverty.

You can add your voice of support by visiting this website:

Poverty is something that we choose to have in our community based on the policies and politicians we endorse. Feel free to watch my 5 minute video on why homelessness in London is a policy problem, rather than a personal problem:

All poverty is soul-crushing. I am glad that you are addressing the needs of children and youth BUT you are ignoring a huge group: seniors. Those receiving ODSP or welfare loose their access to dental, eyeglasses, orthotics, hearing aids once they turn 65. The allowance for rent/utilities is far from barely adequate and so most must live in unsafe even unhealthy conditions. With the economic crash, this will only get worse as many seniors will have lost life savings and pensions. Don't ignore us anymore! Thanks for your attention.

Cultivate a sense of abundance -- Think you don’t have enough to spare for those less fortunate than you? Cultivate a sense of abundance and gratitude and you may be surprised how much you can find to share with those in need – whether it is time, money, skills or possessions.

Volunteer -- Tackling poverty means providing better opportunities for at-risk kids to learn. Volunteer your time at an After School Program like The London Public Library’s R.E.A.D. Program, which helps kids develop a love of reading.

Make a choice -- Seventeen percent of families in London live below the Low Income Cut-Off and one in five children lives in poverty. An $85 donation to United Way will provide an individual living in poverty with weekly meals for a year.

Foster or adopt a child -- Make a difference in the life of a child. Visit the Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex at to find out how you can become a foster or adoptive parent.

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