The holiday season is fast approaching and like many families, we want to give back for the giving season. For this post, we thought of ways to get kids involved. There are many ways for them to do so including helping to collect items for donation or with purchases that donate portions to charity.
It would be good to keep in mind that Giving Tuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals so you can get a deal on some donated items. There is also the International Day of Giving coming up on December 3rd this year.
Be sure to learn about the charities you’d like to get involved with and we hope that this inspires the conversation that the holiday season is not about receiving …but giving.
Kids Cook To Care: Toronto-based charity brings together kids and chefs throughout the year creating meals for those in need. During the holidays, the charity hosts its annual Cookie Drive. For a donation, families can receive a special internationally inspired cookie recipe that has been contributed by a highly respected chef in the city. Kids are encouraged bake from the recipe and learn more about the culture from which the recipe originates. Then, if your family wishes, bake some goodies to bring to the community centre, retirement home or even for local volunteer groups in appreciation in the spirit of giving and sharing.
Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread Build: Purchase a Gingerbread Build Kit online and decorate them at home with the kids. You can also register and participate in one of the building events at Toronto City Hall Rotunda (December 7) or at the Vellore Village Community Centre in Woodbridge (December 8). All proceeds go towards building homes for working lower-income families.
Shoebox Project: Teens may be interested in collecting essentials, health care, and beauty items for this charity that collects and distributes gift filled shoe-boxes over the holidays across Canada. The boxes are given to women over the holiday season who are estranged from their families or displaced from their homes. This gift reminds her that she’s not been forgotten and remains a valued member of her community. Local drop off centres are offered throughout the city.
#HelpOurPetsTO: Founded in 2017 this local organization is to proivde support to people in Toronto who are homeless and have pets. They collection donations of pet food, leashes, blankets, coats, sweaters, etc from the public and provide them to the respite shelter operated by the Fred Victor Organization. The campaign runs throughout the month of December. Families can help by collecting items from friends, family and neighbours or raising funds (e.g. bakesales). Donation can be dropped off at various locations across the city including Liberty Village Animal Hospital and Park9 Urbandog Playcare & Resorts. You can also arrange for pick up with Simply Laundry.
Toy Mountain: An annual tradition for many families and even the youngest child can learn about the joys of giving is just as important as the joys of receiving. Take your child the toy aisle and with a budget in mind, you can turn it into a math lesson too. Let them pick what they think another child would love. No wrapping needed. Drop off boxes are located throughout the city.
Operation Christmas Child/ Samaritan’s Purse: Another great shoebox type of donation but this time will be provided to children in developing countries living in desperate conditions. This Christian based initiative requests items in boxes to include school supplies, hygiene products, and toys. Boxes are also age-appropriate with recommendations on their site for what to get from toddlers to teens.
SickKids Sponsor a Family Program: Put together a Holiday Hamper for a family who has a child receiving long term care at the Hospital. The organizers will help match up families. Items in the hamper may include toys for siblings, scarf for mom, gas cards, grocery store gift cards are some examples. This holiday assistance program helps make the holidays a little brighter. This is a great group effort too to get other families contributing to one box.
Toonies for Tummies: Hard to believe that there are kids in the city that go to school hungry. The Grocery Foundation partners with local organizations including the Ontario Student Nutrition Porgram and the Breakfast Club of Canada to identify eligible school-based programs. Ask your class or school to organize a toonie drive or even have a pancake breakfast in support of kids in local breakfast programs for kids. Funds raised help to provide healthy meals to students across Ontario and Western Canada.
The Scott Mission: This time of year there are urgently needed items at this Toronto Mission. Items like new hats, gloves, and socks are items that your child can help collect through classmates, neighbours, friends and family. Other items on the urgent need list include gently used or new boots, coats, towels, sweaters. There are two locations in the city for drop off or you can arrange for pick up