Regardless of how green your thumbs are or what kind of food you’re able to access: if you care about how we grow our food and the people who grow it, there are countless ways you can get involved!
Improving the global food system starts with citizens connecting into their local food systems.
By connecting with others over food – whether that’s growing it, purchasing it, or enjoying it – we create the momentum we need to make a difference.
Keep an eye on our calendar for community events and local food services in your region. If you have an event or organization you would like to promote in our calendar, email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.View items...
What is the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund?
Who is Lotta Hitschmanova?
Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova is USC Canada’s founder. She established the organization in 1945, as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada. Dr. Lotta dedicated the next 40 years of her life to USC’s mission and to making the world a “better, kinder place for all.”
What is the Lotta Legacy Fund?
To honour Dr. Lotta’s legacy and to allow her work to carry on into the future, a fund in her name was created – the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund. More and more caring Canadians generously make provisions in their will for a gift to USC Canada. Once received, these gifts are deposited in the Legacy Fund, where they are prudently managed and invested to generate income.
How is the money managed?
The Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund is carefully managed by the USC Foundation, which is governed by a Board of Directors directly appointed by and accountable to USC Canada. The USC Foundation's sole purpose is to ensure that USC Canada has the financial stability essential for supporting communities in partner countries for years to come.
How is the money spent?
The funds are invested in secure and ethical options which create modest interest. Each year, a sizable grant from the USC Foundation is made to USC Canada, so that its vital programs can be sustained for the long-term benefit of the farming families we work with around the world (take a look at our Annual Report for our recent financial information).
Don’t you have to be rich to do something like this?
Not at all. Simply make a list of what you own (property, investments, cash, etc) and then make a list of what you owe. Most Canadians are surprised to see how much would be left over once the debts are paid.
I don’t have a lot of money – would this make any difference to USC?
A small amount of money can go a long way in a USC Canada program. Often the Canadian government provides matching fund, multiplying the impact of your gift.
What about my loved ones?
Loved ones always come first. A gift to USC Canada in your will provides your estate with an income tax receipt. Depending on your circumstances the receipt can offset taxes rather than take money away from your loved ones. Consult your lawyer on what’s best for you.
What is the proper wording for my will?
Here are two common types of gifts.
“I give to USC Foundation’s Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund currently located at 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario__________ ( % ) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to be used for its general charitable purposes.”
“I give to USC Foundation’s Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund currently located at 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario the sum of $__________ to be used in support of its general charitable purposes.”
What if I change my mind?
It’s easy to change a will which is one of the reasons giving through a will is such a popular way of giving. For simple changes, add a codicil which expresses your intentions (a separate piece of paper, witnessed by two people who will not benefit from the changes in the will).
If it’s so simple, why is it recommended to see a lawyer?
It’s for your own peace of mind. A lawyer can help with the proper wording a will so that your loved ones will not experience undue expense or confusion in settling your estate.
For more information on how you can leave a Special Legacy Gift to the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund, please send a confidential note to:
Brian McFarlane, USC Canada, 705-56 Sparks Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5B1
For 70 years, USC Canada has been working with partners overseas to make the world “a better, kinder place for all.”
Leaving a gift to USC Canada in your will proclaims your enduring belief in a better future. It honours those who have inspired you and ensures that those values continue on for future generations.
It’s easy to do.
If you already have a will, you can attach a piece of paper called a codicil stating your wishes. We’ve included some sample wording to help guide you below.
If you are making a new will, your lawyer can also use the wording below.
Here is some suggested language for the two most common types of gifts you can leave in your will:
Suggested wording if you would like to leave a residual gift in your will
Leaving a residual gift in your will means that the person or charity named will receive a specific percentage of whatever is left of your property after your estate has covered all its expenses and paid out any gifts you have left to friends and family.
Suggested wording if you would like to leave a specific gift in your will
For more information Frequently Asked Questions
USC Canada in your will
If you have made a gift to USC Canada in your will, we thank you for your generosity. We invite you to let us know about your plans and share with us your vision for a kinder, gentler future. (click here for the confidential confirmation form)
Our current global food system doesn’t serve the planet well. It doesn’t serve most of the people who live on it well either. It has an unsustainable environmental footprint, threatens the planet’s agricultural biodiversity and leaves too many people hungry, even though enough food is produced.
A better food system is possible. By empowering the people who grow most of the world’s food – small scale farmers – and by supporting them in retaining or adopting environmentally-friendly methods, we can grow enough food to feed a growing planet.
To make this happen, we need people like you to get involved!
There’s a home for your contribution, wherever you are!
“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
Volunteers have been at the core of our work for almost 70 years. If you are looking for an opportunity to get involved, and you share our passion for vibrant family farms, strong rural communities and healthy ecosystems, join us!
Specific volunteer openings will be posted on this page as they arise. In the meantime, if you are a self-starter and you want to make a difference in your community you might consider planning your own event or fundraiser. Or try picking something from the following list of activities (click for more information):
- Host a USC Canada kiosk
- Hold a kitchen table talk for your friends and neighbours
- Organize a film screening at school
- Teach your community about biodiversity
- Get active for Biodiversity
- Volunteer with your workplace for USC Canada
Canadians love gardening and good food, but many still have something to learn about the challenges faced by small-scale farmers and the seeds on which our food supply depends. Help us raise awareness about what can be done to support a sustainable and fair food system by holding a USC Canada kiosk at an upcoming event near you! All you need is a warm smile and an interest in talking with others.
Community events where volunteers have hosted a USC Canada kiosks include “Seedy Saturdays” (seed exchange fairs) in the spring, and farmers’ markets in the summer and fall. Multi-cultural, social justice and environmental fairs are also good matches for our mission. Wherever people congregate to learn more about world and food issues, you will find an interested public.
Everybody can support small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity in their own way - but sometimes folks need a bit of group enthusiasm to get started. Become the spark that makes good things happen, and bring food for thought to your next social gathering!
The combination of good friends, good food and good information is a powerful one. Thank you in advance for giving farmers and seeds a place at your table, and bon appétit!
Do you want to help your friends and classmates (and yourself!) understand what is going on in the greater world of food? A fun way to do this is to organize a film screening for your school or youth group. Pick a date, invite your friends and get ready for some fascinating conversations.
If you have volunteer hour requirements and this project would fit, we are happy to vouch for them once your event is completed.
Are you looking for new group activities that are both fun and intellectually stimulating? Learning about other countries, biodiversity and growing your own food is fun and accessible for all ages and ability levels!
Good health starts with good food. Good food starts with good seeds. But did you know good seeds are becoming harder to find? A shocking 75 per cent of the varieties of fruits, vegetables and grains have already been lost. Each lost seed takes with it the unique adaptations that allowed it to perform so well in the ecosystem where it was born. It is important to conserve the agricultural biodiversity that is left.
You can take part in one of our seven organized Run for Biodiversity events across the country or organize your own activity. Running, walking, hiking, bicycling, swimming, snowshoeing, skiing… you can do it all for biodiversity.
Getting started is easy:
- Pick your activity and set a date. You can set an individual goal or you can recruit a team to join you.
- Start telling people around you about your goal and ask them to support you by making a donation for biodiversity! You can choose to allocate the money you raise to our overall mission or to one of the 11 countries where we have programs.
Don’t forget to share photos from your accomplishments with us. We’re excited to add you to our R4B Hall of Fame!
Most of us spend such a large proportion of our time at work… It only makes sense to make that time more meaningful by volunteering with our workplace “family.”
If you have professional expertise you are willing to share, as a group, pro bono, we are very interested in hearing about it. Like all small but mighty non-profits, our needs run a full gamut, so please let us know what you have to offer!
If you have an employer-supported volunteer program, don’t forget to tell us more about it.
Regardless of how green your thumbs are or what kind of food you're able to access: if you care about how we grow our food and the people who grow it, there are countless ways you can get involved! Improving the global food system starts with citizens connecting into their local food systems. By connecting with others over food – whether that's growing it, purchasing it, or enjoying it – we create the momentum we need to make a difference.
Calendar of events
Good seeds grow good food and healthy communities.
Together with communities around the world, USC Canada supports programs and training for seed and crop diversity, for replenishing the soils that grows them, and for the rights of those who nurture them. Healthy seeds and families build strong communities.
Long term solutions like the ones provided by USC Canada need long term support. Your pre-authorized automatic monthly payment can be set at any level and adjusted at any time. Every January we’ll send you an official tax receipt for the total of your annual support.
Donate by mail
Print this form and mail your donation to USC Canada at:
56 Sparks Street, Suite 600
Ottawa, ON Canada
Donate by telephone
Toll free, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm at 1-800-565-6872 ext. 233. Ask our Donor Service Representative, Teresa, any questions you have about donating to USC Canada.
More ways to give
USC Canada is a registered charitable organization. Registration # 11927-6129-RR0001.