The holidays a wonderful, fun, and festive time of year where friends and family get together to share the spirit of the season.
Unfortunately, some of our friends and neighbours don\’t get to revel in the spirit, but you can make this Christmas bright for a family or person in need. In every neighbourhood there are opportunities to give back to the community and to those less fortunate than ourselves.
If you\’re looking for volunteer opportunities in the Durham Region this Christmas, consider the following:
Feed The Hungry
A lot of people take for granted the tradition of sitting down at a table and sharing a big holiday feast with their loved ones, but this time of year can be especially tough on families and individuals who can\’t afford the trimmings.
Donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items are always welcome at food banks, especially over the holidays. You can locate your local food bank through the Ontario Association of Food Banks, a collaborative network of 125 direct member food banks and over 1,100 affiliate relief programs and agencies across the province, and Central East Healthline.
In addition, you can reach out to Feed The Need Durham, a regional food distribution warehouse serving the Durham region. Feed the Need provides food to emergency food providers such as food banks, soup kitchens, community service centres, shelters, drop-in centres, and breakfast feeding programs. Learn how to volunteer at Feed The Need Durham here.
You can also consider donating time or funds to a local soup kitchen, like St. Vincent Pallotti\’s Kitchen, the only soup kitchen in the Durham region that operates seven days a week, 365 days a year. Learn more about them on DurhamOutlook.com.
Lend A Helping Hand
As the weather starts to turn colder, we tend to our homes to ensure we stay safe and warm and dry through the coldest parts of winter, but some people – like the elderly or the infirm – are incapable, either financially or physically, of performing even the most simple acts of maintenance.
Once you know your house is set, why not dedicate a weekend or two to those neighbours who could use a helping hand? You can branch out from your community by registering your name or services with an established programme that has a list of clients in need. Bethesda House is one such organization, looking for those who can help with gardening, yard work, and snow removal. You can learn more on their website.
Donate A Toy
Though the holiday season is not about materialism, jumping out of bed in excitement and anticipation on Christmas morning is a moment no child should miss. You can help bring a giant smile to a little face by donating toys or other goods to toy drives, like the Durham Regional Police Christmas Food & Toy Drive.
Getting out and giving back to the community this season is not only the gift that keeps on giving, but it\’s one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. Happy holidays!