While the holidays can be a fun and festive time of the year, not everyone feels the joy of the season. People who are experiencing homelessness, addiction, loneliness or other struggles can find this time of year difficult. There are many ways you can make a difference and bring some light to someone's life. Here are some ideas for how you can give back this holiday season:
Support a charity you care about
A donation of time or money can make a big difference to a cause that means a lot to you. Children's hospitals, homeless shelters, animal rescue organizations and more all rely on support from the community. Here are a few ways you can support a charity:
- Search online or visit Canada Helps to find a charity matches your interests and make a donation;
- Look for opportunities to give while you're out and about, like the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign or Scan Away Hunger for Mission Services of London;
- Start a food or clothing drive for a local shelter and invite your family, friends and co-workers to contribute;
- Find an organization that is close to your heart and ask them if you can volunteer.
Gather a few friends and go caroling
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” Buddy the Elf was right—singing the carols you love can bring joy to your own heart and to others as well. Find a few folks who are ready to sing loud and spread the cheer. If going to door-to-door isn't your style, reach out to a local long-term care facility or shelter and ask if you can come and sing for people who aren't able to be home for the holidays.
Random Acts of Kindness
Small, meaningful gestures can make a big difference as the stress of the season builds. Here are some simple ideas that can make someone's day:
- Hold the door for someone or give up your seat on a bus;
- Buy a coffee for the person in line behind you;
- Put a few coins in a parking meter that's about to expire;
- Do you know someone who is far from home over the holidays?
- Invite them to your family's celebration
- Tour around the city to see the Christmas lights (be sure to check out the lights at Victoria Park from City Hall's promenade deck)
- Go see one of the holiday blockbusters playing at the movie theatre (they're even open on Christmas day)