Tuesday, 28 November 2017 00:00

Celebrate a Canadian Who Devoted Her Life to Giving!

Lotta Hitschmanova's legacy lives on - with your help! 

Black and white mage of Lotta Hitschmanova pointing at a map laid out on a table. She is looking into the camera a smiling. She is surrounded by children, also mostly all looking into the camera and smiling.

It's incredibly fitting that Giving Tuesday falls on November 28 this year, given whose birthday this is. Lotta Hitschmanova, USC Canada's founder - who spent most of her life giving to others - was born on this day 108 years ago.

You can still trace the roots of our mission back to a moment when World War II held Europe in its grip. Lotta, exhausted and hungry, fainted while waiting in line for food rations. From that moment on, she vowed to work so that one day, no one else would go hungry or feel abandoned by the world. With this goal in mind, Lotta went on to found the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada – today's USC Canada – and devote her life to making the world a "better, kinder place for all."

You can help us to celebrate the legacy of this great Canadian.
Click here to make a donation in her name today.

Learn more about Lotta's life in this film:


Lotta's legacy continues to inspire our work with small-scale farmers around the world. Through our Seeds of Survival program we help farmers to grow diverse, healthy food for their families, in sustainable ways.

This year for Giving Tuesday, we're raising $10,000.00 to build a seed bank in Timor Leste, in a community that greatly needs it. For people like Alianca Bui, Mateus Soares and their children (pictured below) this means more than just food. It means regaining something lost.

A collage of photos of Lotta and a family in Timor Leste. Words superimposed over the photo are "giving Tuesday. Lotta planted the first seeds. together we ensure they keep growing." [usc canada logo]

Timor Leste emerged from its decade-long independence war just 20 years ago. Since then, we've been teaming up with farmers like Alianca and Mateus. Their accomplishments so far have been inspiring. Communities restored their degraded hillsides. They put in place essential water conservation measures. They brought back sustainable farming practices. With just a bit of support, they are rebuilding their communities.

Now, these farmers tell us they're ready for the next step: their own community seed bank. All they need is your support to get it going!

To build this community seed bank, we need to raise $10,000.00. That is enough to:

  • Retrofit an existing building into a functional seed bank.
  • Outfit it with racks and storage.
  • Set up a demonstration garden and supply the equipment to tend it.
  • Train 10 people responsible for managing the facility and training local farmers in seed saving, seed storage, and ecological farming techniques.
  • Cover the costs of organizing three annual seed fairs where the community gathers together to replenish the seed bank and learn from each other.

Lotta planted the first seeds. You can ensure they keep growing - and are being saved in seed banks!

Donate today

Do you have a memory of Lotta to share? Right now at USC Canada, we're organizing decades of archives we have about our founder with a special project in mind. But we know that many of you have your own treasures at home too!

If you have something you'd like to share with us regarding Lotta Hitschmanova - a memory, a photo, a story - please email Gaelan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Read 836 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 December 2017 21:18

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LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.



We would be happy to hear from you.
  • Phone: 1-800-565-6872

USC Canada is a Registered Canadian Charity 11927-6129-RR-0001

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