10 places to give in Toronto this holiday

10 places to give in Toronto

This is a guest post written by local Toronto mom and wonderful person, Rebecca Lee.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need anything this holiday season. Sure, I’d appreciate a new duvet cover and I wouldn’t say no to a fancy mixer, but I don’t need these things. My kid has a list of things she would like for Christmas and as the only grandchild to both sets of grandparents, she’s bound to get most of what’s on her list, even as I protest that she’s not in need of anything.

My cupboards and fridge are full. I’m able to pay the rent each month and put gas in the car that gets us to work and school. I’ve never run out of tampons or diapers. I’ve never had to throw out anything I own because it was infested with bugs.

I am so lucky. I am so very lucky.

As someone who worked in the non-profit sector for almost 15 years, I know of people who cannot say the same. Around this time last year I helped a young mother sort through donated clothing to find sleepers that would fit her newborn. It’s not that she didn’t have sleepers for her baby; it’s that she didn’t have the money to wash the sleepers in the laundry basket.

Around this time of year, as we become inundated with commercials, I like to take some time to consider those people who wouldn’t receive a holiday gift if it weren’t for the work of an agency or organization. These agencies and organizations rely on donors, especially at this time a year, to bring joy to those who aren’t as lucky as some of us. Rather than give cash, there are a number of ways to donate that can help you – and your kids – think about the wish lists and needs of others.

1. The Shoebox Project distributes shoeboxes filled with items to women living in, or accessing, shelters and similar agencies. It’s as simple as finding a shoebox in your recycling bin and filling it with appropriately $50 of items. Some suggestions include TTC tokens, toiletries, and nut-free candies. To their list, I would also suggest a gift card to a juice or smoothie cafe (fresh vegetables and fruit are not often on the menu at shelters), and a pair of flip flops that can be used as shower shoes. The Shoebox Project happens across Canada and there is a likely a drop-off location close to you. [Read more...]