5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

For many of us, the holidays are the best time of year. They’re less than a month away, and that has lots of us pretty excited for all of the fun and joyous parts of the season. But for a lot of other people, this season can be about not knowing where their next meal is coming from, if they can afford to get gifts for their family, and even if they are going to be warm enough once winter fully hits. As exciting as holidays can be, it’s important to remember the spirit of giving and caring for others. This article will have all of the ways you can help and give back to others in need this season.


Gift Donations

There are lots of gift hampers that you can give toys and other gifts to in the GTA. Every kid deserves to get a gift for the holidays, as it’s the one thing we looked forward to as kids. Gift cards are great for donations. Old toys, books and even dollar store items are good for gift hampers. Many people are also in need of hygiene products like toothbrushes, hair brushes, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products and so on. Truly anything helps. Usually grocery stores will have gift hampers that you can give to, and York University has one in Scott Library that you can give to as well!




Anyone at any age can make a positive impact!

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Clothing Drives

An easy way to give back and help out is to donate your old winter gear to Goodwill. Even your warm clothes like old pants and thick sweaters are important to donate. Anything from old coats, boots, mittens, scarves and warm hats are much needed and appreciated. You can host your own clothing drive, or just ask your friends, neighbors and family if they have anything to give away. This is also a good way to declutter your closet before the new year hits if you’re looking for a good motivator to part with the stuff you no longer need.




Food Drives

One of the best parts of the holidays is all of the yummy food that we get to indulge in. For many people, it’s a big struggle to even think about getting together a nice dinner for their family. Thankfully there are plenty of food banks in the GTA that you can give to and support. It’s super easy to donate some non-perishable goods. Look in your pantry to see what you can spare, or find deals going on with low prices at Walmart, No Frills and so on if you want to go out and make a purchase the next time you find yourself at the grocery store.




Holiday Helpers

This is a great thing to do with friends or family. Spend the day helping box and wrap gifts for those in need! Most of these are cost friendly, so if you can’t afford to be spending a little extra on gifts or donations, just dedicate some time to going in and helping wrap presents that are going to those in need. Check out Holiday Helpers for more info if this interests you!




Meet April & Sarah Rutka, the founder of Holiday Helpers Canada. It’s hard to believe that the first family HH helped was in 1996, 22 years ago!  Both April and Sarah were volunteering at their local Salvation Army food bank in Brampton when they heard about a local family who’s house burned down just days before Christmas. April was 20 and Sarah was 17 and even though they were young with few resources, they still wanted to help. When they enquired, the family in need asked for a Christmas tree and decorations. So April and Sarah set about buying a tree and asking friends and family to donate decorations. And that’s how it started…one tree….one family in need.  This season HH is delivering the magic of Christmas to 600 families living in low income situations living across the GTA and Durham region. An incredible story!  Never underestimate the power of one kind gesture.  Would you like to make a kind gesture to a family in need this Christmas? Visit the HH website (holidayhelpers.org) to donate or sponsor a family for their Christmas presents.

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Food Kitchens

This is also a great act of service if you prefer not to spend any actual money. Take some time out of your day to go help serve a meal to those in need. It doesn’t have to be on any particular day, but it’ll hopefully get you in the spirit of giving. Take your friends, family or just yourself down and enjoy giving back to those who need it.


As we start to stress out about making sure our holidays are perfect and that we get all of the gifts we want, don’t forget that for some the holiday season is a great struggle, and that any act of service can help make it better. I hope this article got you in the spirit of giving, and has inspired you to go out and try to give back in some way.