Canvas – the charity spreading the love in Selly

No I don’t mean the portal

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Have you heard of the charity Canvas?

I hadn’t really – I just knew them as the impossibly smiley people who gave out free tea and coffee at 9am.

But this American based charity does so much more. Based on Teignmouth Road they hold weekly hang outs, organise trips and events, provide free meals and unlimited access to tea and coffee.

Truly they know the way into the average student’s heart.

This place is ALL about the tea

This place is ALL about the tea

The charity is worldwide, with a governing umbrella organisation based in the States. Representatives are then shipped over to run each of the charities’ houses, and here in Brum there is strong core of UOB students that regularly attend the Tuesday and Thursday goings on.

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Free dinner? Free fun? Every Thursday? must be a catch…

A lot of students have Canvas down as a sort of free coffee Christian cult – where in exchange for hot beverages you had to pledge your soul to the Almighty, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

After tentatively attending a hang out I brought up the issue of faith. Although the organisation is Christian there is no pre-requisite that you need to be to attend, and fear not – none of the events have any uncomfortable religious undertones.

Fun, food, Fifa and films are what constitute an average evening: all infused with that contagious American cheerfulness and generosity that is the ultimate antidote to our British cynicism and suspicion of anything free.

Thanks Giving: An all American excuse to eat

Thanks Giving: An all American excuse to eat

Canvas is primarily a charity based on the philosophy that everyone deserves to be treated nicely – its aims are to build community, fatten up starving students and bring a bit more love to Selly Oak.