By: Kara Layher

Kara Layher is a Communication Specialist at CHF.

For a kid, there is nothing more exciting than your birthday. To 10 year old Keane Marshall, his birthday is more than just a party and cake, it’s also a way to give back. 3 years ago, on his 8th birthday, Keane’s mom came up with the idea to throw a 50/50 party. This means guests give cash gifts with 50 percent going to his savings account and the other 50 going to a charity of his choice. His empathy for individuals experiencing homelessness made him decide to donate his birthday money to Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF).

Since then, Keane has chosen to make his annual birthday donation to CHF every year!

At the young age of 8, Keane recognized that there were people living in his city who didn’t have a home, and he wanted to do something to help. He decided to donate his birthday money to CHF so that we could make sure that it went to someone who really needed it.

A donation to CHF is distributed throughout the entire Homeless-Serving System of Care and is funneled to where it is needed most. As the System Planner, we work with many homeless-serving agencies to create strategies and programs to ensure Calgary is providing the highest quality of care to those who need it most. Donations allow us to continue to advance our mission to end homelessness by specifically focusing on the following areas of impact:

Greatest Needs – Donations to this area of impact support the entire system of care which empowers researchers, the front lines and community engagement initiatives.

Research and Innovation – This area of impact influences system change by leveraging the knowledge and expertise CHF provides through our HMIS data, and our nationally and internationally recognized research teams

Capacity Building – The homeless sector, while relatively new, works with our community’s front line staff and volunteers to empower them to be more effective, which ensures we continue to deliver the best care to Calgary’s most vulnerable.

Community Engagement – By creating opportunities for the sector and our community to come together, build relationships and seek solutions, we all move forward in our shared vision of ending homelessness.

Keane’s donation touched the hearts of many at CHF 3 years ago, and continues to do so every year as he continues to donate his birthday money to help those in need. Thank you Keane for donating to CHF. Your contribution is incredibly significant to all of us here, and even more significant to the individuals who will benefit from your donation!

For more information on how to donate to CHF please visit: