Volunteering

Helping Britain's schools

In response to the German bombing of British cities that began in 1940, teachers in British Columbia established a fund to aid children and teachers whose homes and schools had been destroyed.

View PDF: BCTF.pdf

Turning your home into an air raid shelter

While it admitted that the possibility of an enemy air attack on Canadian soil was very remote, the federal government nevertheless advised Canadians to be prepared, by ensuring that their homes offered the maximum protection against bombs.

View PDF: Home ARP.pdf

Keeping Canada secure

As the enemy threat against Canada faded, civil defence workers turned their energies to other matters, including fighting forest fires and promoting mine safety.

View PDF: CDB Sep 1944.pdf

Guarding Canada against aerial attack

The Aircraft Detection Corps was made up of volunteers, each armed with binoculars and a handbook of aircraft silhouettes to aid in identification. Upon spotting an enemy aircraft, they were specifically requested to telephone the details to the authorities, rather than sending them through the mail.

Tea from the Salvage Corps of BC

In this wonderful image (probably from 1943), women of the Canadian Red Cross Society serve snacks from a mobile canteen provided by the Salvage Corps of British Columbia. The occasion is not identified, but the patrons include Air Raid Precautions workers, policemen, and labourers.

Helping POWs

Canadians were determined fund-raisers in both world wars, and at any given time energetic groups were trying to raise money for dozens of different causes. This raffle was probably to send food parcels to Canadian prisoners of war in Germany.

Thanks from the Canadian Red Cross

Tens of thousands of Canadian women gave freely of their time and energy during the world wars, expecting nothing in return and often getting nothing more than a card of thanks and acknowledgment.

Knitting socks for soldiers

One only has to read their letters and diaries to see how important socks were to soldiers, and it was just as important to Canadians to be able to supply them. The fact that this knitting instruction sheet, preserved by Charlotte Halls of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is so well worn suggests that it was used frequently, and perhaps passed through many hands during the Second World War.

A student supports the Victory Loan

Ontario high school student Ross Densmore was one of tens of thousands of subscribers to the 1944 Victory Loan, the seventh such campaign in Canada during the Second World War.

Fund-raising tag days

During the First World War, paper tags were sold to raise money for various causes; in wearing them, donors could publicly demonstrate their support of the war effort.

Raising funds for ex-soldiers' families

This song, written in honour of the Prince of Wales, who visited Canada immediately after the First World War, raised money for the Soldiers' Aid Commission of Ontario, which assisted the families of ex-soldiers in financial distress.

View PDF: His Smile.pdf

Law on Charities Relating to the War

This booklet outlines various components of the law governing charitable organizations during wartime.

Canadian War Services Fund, 1941 campaign

This letter reveals the impressive totals raised in the campaign to aid the Canadian Legion War Services, the IODE, the Knights of Columbus Canadian Army Huts, the Salvation Army Red Shield Fund, and the YMCA and YWCA War Services: over $613,000 in British Columbia, and over $7.2 million (over $106 million in 2012 values) in Canada as a whole.

$300 million for the war effort

The First World War was over when this Victory Loan campaign was launched, but there were still bills to be paid.

A financial dagger pointed at the heart of Berlin

Canada's third Victory Loan campaign - symbolized by a Commando dagger - aimed to raise $750 million; ultimately, $991 million was subscribed, thanks to some of the innovative measures suggested in this brochure.

Taking care of soldiers' families

The Canadian Patriotic Fund was established to provide for the families of men in uniform who had been left destitute by the enlistment of the breadwinner. Thomas Murray, a native of Newfoundland, had enlisted in the 212th Battalion in August 1915, and later served with the 61st Battalion.

News from the Salvation Army

This monthly newsletter detailed the extensive war work of the Salvation Army, from providing welcome centres for Canadians in uniform around the world to raising money for the Canadian War Services Fund.

View PDF: Red Shield.pdf

Victory Bond parade

The theme of the 7th Victory Loan campaign, which opened in October 1944, was "Invest in Victory." There were nine campaigns in total, and together they raised roughly $12 billion.

Supporting the Canadian Red Cross Society

The donation from the Eyford family is the equivalent of roughly $47 in 2012 values, a generous gift from a rural community.

From kitchen to battlefield

One imperative of wartime Canada was that nothing should be wasted - so housewives were encouraged to save fats and bones which yielded glycerine, an essential component of explosives.

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