How to Give Back This Holiday Season

Whether through donation or action, it’s the season for giving.

While the world is full of people in need year-round, no time is that more apparent than during the holiday season. Every year, thousands of charities across the country are eagerly awaiting contributions from their communities that will allow them to continue making a difference for families in need. Over the past decade, Canadians have always given a little more during the holiday season and charities are hopeful this trend towards giving will continue this year, despite the financial throes of the global pandemic. If you’re looking to become more involved this year, here are some helpful ideas on how to give back to your community.

Make new traditions

This sentiment from the Red Cross Canada really spoke to me:

“Showing children a generous spirit, especially at a time of year that can be hard for those children and families in need, can provide a lifelong willingness to help others.”

I love this! Whether you make homemade ornaments or cards for families in need, or help them earn some money through household chores to donate to a charity of their choice, making this initiative fun is a great way to keep them interested and invested in the spirit of giving back to people.

Find a charity you’re passionate about

With so many charities seeking help, it can be overwhelming deciding which one to contribute to. There are no wrong answers or wrong decisions—go with your heart and think about what charities really speak to you. Do you want to help children from afar in third world countries? Or stay local within your own community and volunteer at a soup kitchen? Whatever you decide, just remember that any action is good action. This website is a wonderful resource for hundreds of charitable organizations if you need some inspiration: CanadaHelps website.

Gift jar

Consider making it monthly

Most Canadians make donations during the month of December because of the year-end charitable tax receipt deadline, and while that’s perfectly acceptable, think about setting up a monthly donation instead—with a charity you believe in. You don’t have to actually increase the amount of money your contributing, but making these monthly donations can really go a long way in helping provide small charities with a steady source of funding throughout the entire year, which will allow them to remain focused on their mission and goals without worrying about how they’re going to keep the business running if they’re only getting financial support once a year. Plus, it just feels good! Knowing each month you’re contributing to a greater good.

Bring pet food, blankets or toys to your local animal shelter

We all adore our pets, and even if you don’t have a furry friend, you can help your local animal shelter by offering a donation of food, blankets or toys. Make sure to contact the shelter first to see what they may need.

Donate to a local toy drive

There is nothing that sparks joy quite like witnessing children rip open their gifts on Christmas morning, and sadly, for thousands of Canadian families, this isn’t always possible. If you want to ensure children across the GTA enjoy a happy holiday experience, you can donate new and unwrapped toys to a number of local toy drives. Here’s a link to many organizations in Greater Toronto.

Donation box

Put together toiletry kits together for women in shelters

Get together with friends, family or your book to assemble kits for a women’s shelter. Women in shelters often arrive with almost nothing; they are grateful for new toiletry items such as toothpaste, soap, feminine products, and shampoo.
Contact the shelter of your choice directly to make sure your kits meet their requirements. The bonus? You not only help vulnerable women in need of some critical personal care items, but you also have a fulfilling holiday group get-together.