With November winding down and December looming large, Christmas-focused charities are ramping up their operations in preparation for the giving season.
While most of these charities and service organizations run all year long, providing valuable support in their communities, it’s at this time of year that many shift their focus onto helping make the holiday season a little more joyous for families.
With that in mind, it’s a good time for all of us to consider how we might be able to help these “first-world” humanitarian efforts.
There are numerous places to donate, from food banks and church hamper drives to toy and stocking stuffer drives.
One unique campaign (shoeboxproject.com/victoria.html) not specifically geared for Christmastime encourages donors to fill a shoebox with $50 worth basic toiletries and other small gifts, for women escaping violent and abusive relationships. Women often arrive at shelters and transition houses with little more than the clothes on their backs, so having some of the basic needs looked after can be a welcome gift, indeed.
The Mustard Seed Food Bank, not only accepts food, but cash as well. Often, however, that cash buys more of the basics, leaving such “treats” as energy bars, coffee and juice boxes to be donated by the public. Why not call (250-953-1575) for a list of such luxury items, then search out a local bulk sale and pass the goodies along for inclusion in family hampers?
For animal lovers, donations to the SPCA are always gratefully accepted. And, of course, there are many regional efforts, such as the Salvation Army’s toy drive and hamper campaigns and the Santas Anonymous program overseen by CFAX radio.
Not everyone may feel they have the resources to give. The other option is to give your time as a volunteer.
No matter which option one chooses, the giving feels good no matter how big or small and can go a long way toward brightening the lives of those less fortunate around us.