Photo By: Katt Yukawa from Unsplash

Do you have extra clothes piled in the corners of your room that you will probably never wear? Or how about extra blankets that are just taking up space in your closet? Maybe you have some extra time during the holidays? Instead of binging your favorite show, here are some local shelters that are in dire need of donations or a few hours of your time this holiday season.

The Nova House, also known as ​​Women’s Place of South Niagara, is an emergency transitional shelter for children and all persons identifying as women who are victims or witnesses of domestic and/or family violence. They offer 24/7 support to those in need. 

The Nova House is currently accepting cash donations, as well as running a calendar raffle and 50/50 draw to help raise money. They are also in need of volunteers and event hosts. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can click here.

Another amazing organization in the Niagara Region is The Boys and Girls Club of Niagara. Their mission is to ​​provide a safe, supportive environment where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life. 

The Boys and Girls Club of Niagara also runs a halfway, transitional home for troubled youth in the Niagara Region. As always, the shelter is in need of blankets, jackets, shoes, young adult clothing and soaps and toiletries. These can be dropped off at any location in the Niagara Falls area. For volunteer opportunities, click here

All donations are welcome, however, the Boys and Girls Club has assembled a list of needs for their different programs: 

  • Athletics Equipment: dodgeballs (dino skin), pedometers, yoga mats, basketballs and volleyballs
  • Arts & Crafts: glue sticks, child scissors, markers, coloured pencils, construction paper, banner paper and mounted canvas
  • Music: guitars, bass guitars, drum kits and keyboards

They are also accepting school supplies such as papers, pencils, pens, old books and all other school materials.  

Another local shelter is Gillian’s Place. Gillians place offers confidential, non-judgemental advice and support for women, non-binary individuals, and their children experiencing gender-based violence and abuse. They offer emergency transportation, safety planning and violence prevention programs, as well as transitional housing, support and free legal advice.

Gillian’s Place offers many volunteering opportunities, and they are also always looking for donations, of both funds and goods. To donate funds click here, and for a complete list of needed donations, click here. Donated goods can be dropped off at any of these locations below:

  • Christian Benefit Shop: 254 Grantham Ave (St. Catharines)
  • St. Vincent DePaul: 67 Queenston Street (St. Catharines)
  • Niagara Furniture Bank: 53 Ontario Street (St. Catharines)
  • Matthew 25: 42 Division St. (Welland)
  • Grimsby Community Services: 40 Elm St. (Grimsby)

    Most charities run, at least in large part, on generous donations from community members. Charitable donations can also inspire your nearest and dearest to give to causes that are important to them too. Knowing that you’re helping others is also hugely empowering and, in turn, can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. So what are you waiting for? There’s no better time than now to give.