Charitable Organizations

Games for POWs

Boredom was one of the greatest challenges facing Canadian prisoners of war in Germany during the Second World War, but charitable organization did what they could to send games and puzzles to the camps to help pass the time.

Come to Canada Corner

The Knights of Columbus operated a hospitality bureau in Paris for Canadians on leave. Staffed by English-speaking volunteers, "Canada Corner" could arrange sightseeing trips, golf games, theatre nights - one soldier even got to have dinner with a French countess.

The YMCA at war

Using a fictional soldier from Yourtown, Canada, this booklet offered a summary of the breadth of YMCA activities during the Second World War.

View PDF: PDF icon Arthur Jones.pdf

The Red Cross Corps at work

This postcard, sold to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross Society, illustrates the work of the Red Cross Corps on behalf of prisoners of war.

The Red Cross in war and peace

In this appeal for support, the Manitoba Red Cross reminded veterans that, as ex-soldiers, they "have knowledge of what the Red Cross Emblem means in the fullest sense of the word." For that reason, they should support the organization's continuing work for injured and disabled soldiers.

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: PDF icon BCTF.pdf

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.

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: PDF icon His Smile.pdf

Law on Charities Relating to the War

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

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: PDF icon Red Shield.pdf

Aid for war widows

These Christmas cards were sold to raise money for the Wings for Britain Benevolent Fund, which supported the widows and families of airmen who had been killed in action.

"The girls in the Red Cross tea shop"

These women, all of whom are identified on the back of the photograph, served snacks to soldiers at a tea shop run by the Canadian Red Cross Society in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Legion's war work

The Canadian Legion funded and staffed welcome rooms at major railway stations across Canada, where servicemen and women could relax while waiting for a train.

The YMCA at War

Postcards produced by the YMCA, such as this one showing members of the RCAF going into a YMCA hut at an airfield in England, were distributed free of charge to Canadians overseas.

Collecting from students

Every member of society was expected to donate to patriotic causes - this envelope was distributed in schools so children could donate in support of Canadian seaman.

A welcome for doughboys in Windsor

Women from the Border Cities Welfare League of Windsor, Ontario, provided cigarettes and writing to materials to American soldiers who passed through the city on their way to Europe.

Selling flowers for the war effort

In 1940, the Canadian Red Cross Society sold flowers at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, to raise money for its war work.