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’Tis the season of giving.
Before you head out to do some Christmas shopping, you may want to add a few extra items to your list to help a family in need.
There are plenty of ways you can pitch in this holiday season throughout Halifax Regional Municipality — whether it be by donating money, items, food or your time.
Cover the costs of Christmas for a family
The Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank has a catalogue of its own for Christmas, full of ways you can help a family in need.
From sponsoring a hamper that will provide a family with all of the holiday dinner fixings to donating money to cover their heating costs, there are plenty of ways to give back during the holiday season with help from the non-profit organization.
You can also sign up to be a secret Santa, where you’ll purchase and wrap gifts for a family, or cover the fuel costs of the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank’s trucks as they head out for deliveries across HRM.
Help families have a festive feast and put gifts under the tree
You can help put food on the table and presents under the tree for a family in need this Christmas.
Feed Nova Scotia is matching people and businesses up with families in HRM who need support during the holiday season.
No shopping is required. Just donate to Feed Nova Scotia’s Hearts for Christmas campaign, and they’ll provide the rest: a gift card (or cards, depending on the donation amount) and all the food for a festive dinner.
Adopt a family for Christmas
If you’re looking to help a family who lives on the outskirts of HRM, you can be matched up with one through the Caring and Sharing Food Bank’s Adopt a Family program.
If you register for the program, you’ll buy food, gifts or both for the family size of your choice and then deliver them to a designated area on a specified date and time.
While the family provides a wish list of gifts for the children and parents, you’re free to add extra items such as toilet paper, additional groceries or gifts for pets. Some people go the extra mile and put together Christmas stockings as well.
If you wish to adopt a family for Christmas, send an email to Allison Gilby, the Christmas co-ordinator at Caring and Sharing Food Bank.
Donate a blanket for a person in long-term care
As the weather gets colder, some will snuggle up by the fire or wrap themselves in a blanket.
To help bring warmth to seniors and help brighten their day during the holiday season, Nicole Martelle is collecting blankets to distribute to long-term care homes throughout HRM.
You can drop a new blanket off at Allen Print in Dartmouth or the Larry Uteck branch of CIBC from Monday to Friday or e-transfer money to Martelle.
Help put a toy under the tree for a family in need
The C100 Cineplex toy drive is back in full swing for its 25th year.
You can help put a toy under the tree for a family in need by donating a new, unwrapped toy at selected Cineplex locations in HRM or Playdium in Dartmouth.
Toys will be accepted until Dec. 10 before they are distributed by the Salvation Army to families in need across the municipality.
You can also swing by participating stores in Dartmouth Crossing and grab a tag off a tree. On the tag, you’ll find the age of the child you’ll purchase a gift for.
Once you’ve got the gift, return the tag and your unwrapped present to a drop-off location in the crossing before Dec. 22.
Be a Santa to a senior
Add an extra name to your Christmas shopping list this year as part of the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
Stop by one of the long-term care homes participating in the program, where you can choose a bulb that holds a senior’s small gift request.
There’s no need for wrapping after you’ve purchased the gift. Just deliver your selected bulb and gift to its designated box to put a smile on someone’s face during the holidays.
Lend a helping hand
With the cost of inflation, you may not be able to spend extra money but still want to give back during the holiday season.
There are plenty of non-profit organizations looking for volunteers to lend a helping hand.
Souls Harbour Rescue Mission hosts holiday dinners in Halifax, Bridgewater and Truro and is always looking for people to help pull it all together.
If you’re looking to volunteer, reach out to a local non-profit organization to see if you can give them some of your free time.
Donate to a community organization
There’s no shortage of places looking for help throughout the holiday season as several non-profit organizations throughout HRM are collecting donations.
For example, Adsum for Women and Children have made a Christmas wish list, where you can find a list of wanted items such as makeup, pyjamas, gift cards and more.
If you don’t have time or prefer someone do the shopping for you, you can also e-transfer money to the organization that will be put toward gifts for its clients.
Other organizations accepting donations include Out of the Cold, Alice House, the Elizabeth Fry Society and more.
Buy a ballot for the AndyVent calendar
The online fundraiser reveals a prize each day in December that will go to one lucky winner on Dec. 23. Some of last year’s prizes included cheesecake for a year, a photoshoot, family passes to the Zatzman Sportsplex and multiple gift cards from local restaurants and businesses.
Psst. It’s live. https://t.co/OdrcQHETp4
— Andy Bowers (@evilpez4) November 28, 2022
All you have to do is donate to the event’s GoFundMe campaign. For every $5 you pledge, you receive one ballot for the big draw.
The money raised during the campaign, minus GoFundMe’s cut, will go to Feed Nova Scotia. Last year, more than $40,000 was donated to the fundraiser.
Make a donation while visiting Woody
If you’re doing some holiday shopping at Mic Mac Mall, stop by to see Woody.
It’s the talking tree’s second year back at the Dartmouth mall since making his return last year and this year Woody is accepting donations for Feed Nova Scotia.
If you swing by Woody’s magical forest, you can tap your credit card at the TipTap Pay Station to make a donation to the non-profit organization.
Mic Mac Mall is matching every dollar donated (up to $5,000). Donations are being accepted until Dec. 23.