Where does your journey with us begin?


The Unitarian Service Committee of Canada is launched to help rebuild war-torn Europe. That first year, Lotta raises $64,000.


“The USC” becomes an independent secular organization.


Canadians across the country mobilize to send goods, clothing and food to victims of conflict and famine around the world.


The organization moves into 56 Sparks Street. The address becomes the famous sign-off of Lotta’s public service announcements.

1960s -1970s:

Lotta spends most of her time on the road, travelling across Canada each time she returns from a field visit abroad to tell Canadians about what she saw. Her public service announcements leave an impression on millions.


After witnessing famine in Bihar, India, Lotta works with a local monk to start an agricultural training program for youth. A similar program launches five years later in Bangladesh.


Raymond ven der Buhs becomes Lotta’s personal assistant, making him the first man hired by USC Canada. He will later become USC’s managing director, taking over from Lotta in 1983.


25-year old Bruce Cockburn makes his first gift to USC Canada, remembering the kind and compassionate Lotta, who had visited his classroom when he was 10 years old.


Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova is made a Companion of the Order of Canada for her visionary work and innovative approach to humanitarianism


After nearly 40 years of tireless work, Lotta steps down from her role due to illness. Her USC Canada family continues to visit and send her pink carnations, her favourite flower, until she passes away in Ottawa on August 1, 1990.


To help Ethiopian farmers recover from drought and civil war, the Seeds of Survival program is born to save and multiply disappearing seed varieties.


Lotta’s legacy inspires many donors to leave a gift to USC Canada in their will. This leads to the creation of the USC Foundation and the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund.


Working with farmers around the world to grow healthy food using good seeds and sustainable practices, becomes USC Canada’s exclusive focus.


Recognizing that farmers in Canada also need support to rebuild local seed security, USC Canada obtains private funding to launch its first domestic program.


Just ahead of our 75th anniversary, we adopt a new, more memorable name that reflects our work with farmers and honours your impact through time: SeedChange.