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Giving back: ways to help out others this Christmas

The holidays are a time of pretty lights, gift giving, good food, and spending time with the people we care about. For students, this period is usually is a time of rest after finishing exams and getting ready to start a new semester. With so much going on during this time, we often forget about those who may not have the privilege to do all of the festive activities we all love. One of the most important parts of the holidays is giving. Giving back to others or your community is especially important. During the holidays it is important that no one gets left behind. The following article provides different methods which you can give back this Christmas. 


The holidays for some people are a lot more difficult to get through, however here’s a list of a few charities that take donations that help children, families and disadvantaged people.

Santa Claus without Borders is a Montreal based charity that works towards giving children in disadvantaged communities in Mexico a Christmas. Donations to this charity go towards giving children in difficult situations shoes, clothing, as well as toys for the holidays. 

The Shoebox Project is a Toronto based charity that gives homeless women in the US and Canada a box filled with $50 worth of products. The products given supply women with essential items a person may not have access to while homeless, as well as special items that are not essential every person likes to have to feel special. Their mission is to give a Christmas to those living on the streets who may feel like they are forgotten during the holidays. 

The Christmas Sharing Program is located in Belleville Ontario. The best part of Christmas is having a nice meal with all the people you love. Unfortunately, many families do not get to share this during Christmas. The Christmas Sharing Program provides families with a “Christmas hamper” full of food to enjoy during the holidays. The program also enrolls families in the local toy drive as well as sponsors the Salvation Army Community Christmas dinner.  

Sick Kids takes donations all year round but is especially needed at Christmas. Donations can help with research as well as families that may struggle with paying parking passes or giving gifts on Christmas. More recently, you can donate to Ryan Reynold’s campaign with Samsung. This campaign doubles donations up to $100 000. You can even choose to donate for someone in their honor or under their name which would be an awesome Christmas gift without physically having to get one.

Acts of Service 

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to donate this holiday. Giving back does not always require money but can involve helping the community. 

Homeless shelters are a great place to volunteer during the holidays in the kitchens. It is a great opportunity for those who are homeless have a chance of a good, warm meal during this time. Homeless shelters also took for volunteers to sort donations of clothing, food etc. they may receive as well as preparing meals. Homeless shelters often fill up with volunteers during the holidays so be sure to check with homeless shelters on days you can come in!

Animal shelters are often forgotten about during the holidays. Animals are often a popular gift; however, many do get left abandoned and animal shelters need help finding new permanent homes for these critters! Many staff often go on breaks during this time so extra help is needed.

Other ways to give 

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 volunteering and giving money may not be available to some people. However, there are tons of ways to help out! 

Donate to a food bank. Food banks are always looking for donations which help feed families this holiday. Even if it is a can laying around the house or a few items bought from the grocery store, it can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Non- perishable items are always the safest to donate to avoid rotten food. This can include items in cans such as tuna, beans, and vegetables, peanut butter, and tea or coffee. 

Check in on people. The holidays can be a lonely time and especially with COVID-19 many people are unable to see any family this year. Calling a grandparent or a friend can make a huge difference this season. A simple call or check in can make someone not feel so forgotten and lonely during this time. 

There are several ways to give this holiday season. Whether you are budgeting this year or anxious about the pandemic, there is a way for everyone to help out.  Giving back is not always about materialistic things but making people feel special and remembered during this season. Stay happy and healthy this holiday!

Breanne McNeil

U Ottawa '23

Breanne is a Criminology student in Canada hoping to further her experience as an author in Her Campus.
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