The gift of giving: it brings joy


As the holidays are approaching, many of us will get to go home to our families, celebrate with large dinners and see presents under our Christmas trees. We will share stories with our friends, give gifts and sit by fireplaces in warm cozy homes.

Let’s not forget though, that there are many people in the world, and in our own communities, who are much less fortunate than many of us. If you have the ability to give back, to share some of your time or money to provide for those who can’t provide for themselves, there are many ways to do so.


Maybe it’s the age old fall-back for someone looking to give back, but it can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or event at a community care centre is a huge help over the holiday’s. Whether it is serving food, helping sort or pack gifts, or anything in between, it’s one piece of the puzzle to put together a meaningful holiday for those in need.

Adopt a Family/Sponsor a Family

Niagara Families has a few different programs where people in the region can give back to specific families. One of their initiatives, Corporate Tree Tags, is where a tree tag contains the name of a child being helped by Gillian’s Place. Customers and employers can take a tag and buy a gift for that child, and return it before December 15 with the tag attached to the unwrapped gift.

Project Share is also always looking for volunteers and donations. Some of the most needed donations include; fresh or frozen fruits/vegetables, baby formula, toiletries, unwrapped toys and new clothing.

Donate to the Salvation Army

There are various ways to give back via the Salvation Army. While their annual Santa Shuffle was held this past Saturday across Canada in 38 different cities, there are many other ways to give back. Giving spare change to the Salvation Army kettles is one way, but also volunteering at a Salvation Army can go a long way. Donating toys, buying groceries for your local food bank, and volunteering for Christmas hamper packing are all additional ways to give back through the Salvation Army. This Dec. 6, the Salvation Army in St. Catharines is having their Christmas dinner — and patrons can make donations of socks and gloves to the Niagara Mobile Outreach Ministry.


It’s always a great time of year to go through your closet and figure out which clothes and shoes you’ve outgrown. Making a donation to Goodwill this time of year can go a long way for families who may not have enough clothes to keep warm, who may not own any winter boots or winter coats.


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