I was in my early teens when I began donating gifts to the local holiday toy drive in my hometown, and now in my mid-twenties, it is one of the few holiday traditions I like to keep alive. It makes this time of year, in particular, resemble a time of unselfishness; a time where putting others’ needs before my own is on the top of my list. (These are the best advent calendars to help ring in the holidays.)
This year, I’ve come across some do-good holiday initiatives that are worth taking part in:
Shoebox Project for Women
Founded in 2011, the Shoebox Project for Women is back for its seventh year with the launch of their holiday campaign #LoveWhoSheIs. This campaign, which is focused on women who are effected by homelessness, aims to encourage Canadians to embrace their empathetic side and create a shoebox for a woman in need.
With approximately 40,034 shoeboxes delivered to shelters and community agencies in 258 communities across North America in 2017, this year it is encouraged for donors to value their box at $50, include a high-quality item that’ll make any woman feel special, as well as a personalized message. “Receiving a beautifully-decorated gift with a meaningful note inside can help a woman realize that she belongs to a caring community and that she is not alone,” says Shoebox Project for Women co-founder, Jessica Mulroney in this year’s campaign press release. (So if you’re planning on purchasing a new pair of shoes this season, save the box and fill it up with these thoughtful items.)
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Planning on making a Shoebox? The high quality of our gifts is an important element that sets our Shoeboxes apart from other donations that shelters and support agencies receive throughout the year. Try to select only items that YOU would like to receive, or gifts that you’d choose for your mother, daughter, or a close friend. Don’t forget to check the list of suggested items on our website! #shoeboxproject
SickKids VS Missing Home
For nearly 300 children at SickKids, spending the holidays at home just isn’t an option. That’s why the hospital launched the SickKids VS Missing Home campaign, to help bring holiday traditions to patients and their families. By visiting The Get Better Gifts program, you can now choose from a variety of heartfelt gifts that’ll not only brighten up their holidays but help celebrate them as well. Whether that’s supplying the gift of gingerbread decorating or a holiday family meal, it’s the perfect way to give back.
Just in time for the cold weather to roll in, Quaker has partnered up with the Boy and Girls Club of Canada to provide winter coats to children from families in-need so that they can feel the #JoyOfWarmth this season when participating in outdoor winter activities.
“More than one in five Canadian parents (21 percent) have struggled financially themselves to ensure their child is appropriately dressed for winter,” according to Quaker Canada. But you can help. Throughout the month of November, if you share the hashtag #JoyOfWarmth and tag @QuakerCanada on your social media channels, Quaker will provide up to 100,000 bowls of warm oatmeal to children in-need at Boys and Girls Club locations across Canada.