A Gifting Guide for Those in Need
By Crystal Wood
2020 has been a different year in so many ways, causing us to reflect on and adjust many parts of our lives. So, it’s no surprise that the holiday season may be a bit different this year, as well. We might not be able to crowd around the tree with friends or take in large concerts together, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still share in the spirit of the season.
When thinking about what kind of gift to share with a loved one, remember that the act of giving is itself rewarding. So, instead of wrapping another present to put underneath the tree, consider donating to a charity in the form of volunteer time, monetary donations or some much-needed supplies. Not only will you be sharing a warm gesture with your loved ones, but you could enrich the life of someone in need.
Here are some ideas for where to donate this holiday season.
Assist Animal Shelters
Help out our furry friends this holiday season by supporting a pet-based charity. Organizations across the province are always in need of assistance to feed, house and rescue animals. Monetary donations are always welcome, as are supplies such as pet food, blankets, toys and cat litter. Visit these websites to find out what kind of help they might need over the holidays.
Help the Homeless
If you’re feeling grateful for all you have this year, share the fortune by helping out others in need. Food banks are a great way to ensure that everyone can enjoy a holiday meal, and accept monetary or food donations. You can also give to a homeless shelter, like Saskatoon’s Lighthouse Supported Living, which is always in need of supplies such as socks, underwear and hygiene products. Consider some of these charities if you’re interested in donating:
Sponsor A Family
Holidays are a time to be with family and friends, but not everyone can be with their loved ones at this time of year. Spread some joy by ensuring that families can spend the holidays together feeling safe, healthy and warm. Many hospitals and non-profit groups have special programs to keep families together during the festive season, such as Ronald McDonald House’s Gift of Nights program, which offsets the financial cost for families requiring overnight stays. To donate to the Gift of Nights or another family-focused charity, check out these organizations.
Welcome Newcomers to Canada
Setting up life in a new country can leave little time for celebrating the holidays. Help our newest Canadians celebrate their first holiday season in their new home by supporting a non-profit that assists newcomers and refugees. If you or your family have some time to spare, consider volunteering for a conversation circle to help newcomers practice English or simply get to know their new city. For more ideas to help newcomers feel welcome, visit these sites:
Born in Saskatoon, Crystal Wood writes for television, theatre and the web. Her travel writing has appeared in Hostelling Canada, British Tours, and Canadian Escapes, and she’s also written for outlets like Submittable, Oxygen and InBetween Magazine. As a playwright, her work has been produced in Canada and the U.S., most recently at Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Festival.