Skip links
6 Ways To Give Back During The Holidays

Six Ways to Give Back During the Holidays

Spread the love

Six Ways to Give Back to the Homeless During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. Shopping lists are being made, travel plans are being booked and festive decorations are beginning to appear in stores. But for many families, one issue looms large: how to feed, clothe and shelter their loved ones during the holidays. 

The fact is, there always seems to be a greater need at this time of year than any other. And while we know it isn’t possible for everyone to reach into their pockets and donate cash or goods to those who need them most, giving back in support of those experiencing homelessness doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out financial resources—in fact, opportunities exist for simply lending your time. 

We know many of our readers are always looking for ways to give back within their communities, but it’s especially true during the holiday season. Of course, there are children, family members, friends and neighbours we are thinking about giving to, but there’s another part of your community you may consider giving to this year—those experiencing homelessness. 

Homelessness is a major issue in Canada. Many people are experiencing financial difficulties at this time, and they might not have the necessary resources to support themselves and their families. Homelessness can affect anyone, no matter how much money they make or what social class they belong to. 

Many have volunteer programs that are full of opportunities for those looking to give back without spending a dime. Volunteering can take on many forms, from answering phones or sorting donations, to cooking meals and organizing events. This way, you can choose what you feel most comfortable doing while still making a huge difference for people experiencing homelessness. If you feel like hosting an event is too much of a commitment for this time of year, consider purchasing groceries or gently used clothing and dropping them off at a local food or shelter instead—or perhaps the idea of turning your turkey dinner into a fundraiser for your local shelter is right up your alley.

Whether it’s volunteering, cooking a meal or donating clothes, you can find something in your community that moves you. Don’t wait until Christmas Eve to figure out what you want to do. Start now.

Here are the top six ways you can get started with giving back in support of those experiencing homelessness.

  • Food & Clothing Drives

Many organizations, such as the food banks of Canada, host food drives during the holiday season. Look for your local food bank to see what items they are short on. 

 According to Tania Little, Chief Development and Partnerships Officer, Food Banks Canada, “Food Banks have been highly impacted by the pandemic and rely on the kindness of Canadians to keep the doors open. Food Banks Canada provides emergency help for those who need food today but also advocates for policy changes that will lower poverty rates and in turn, food bank use. Helping your neighbours is an act of empathy and kindness, not just during the holiday season but all year round and we are so grateful for those who step up to do so.”

To support your neighbours in need you can donate funds, food or time to your local food bank which can be searched at 

Another way to support people experiencing homelessness is to donate clothing – especially warm socks, menstrual products, and essential winter items. Just make sure you call ahead to see what exactly the organization is in need of. 

  • Host a Fundraiser or Drive of Your Own

Giving back is always expected but it’s much more rewarding when you help out those in need. So, if you are feeling really creative, why not host a fundraising event (e.g., bake sale, barbecue, or even a silent auction) and donate all proceeds to your favourite organization? 

The events need not be complicated, it can be as simple as doing a call out on your social media channels. With social media and crowd-funding options like GoFundMe, it’s never been easier to solicit support for an organization or a cause.

  • Give the Gift of Time

This might seem like a no-brainer but volunteering your time is incredibly valuable, and so many organizations need help. Find out where your local soup kitchen, community centre, or even mutual aid groups are in your community, and offer up your time. The support services for homeless people are usually entirely volunteer run. In order for those services to be sustainable, volunteers are always needed. 

  • Put Your Shopping to Work

Giving back can feel daunting when you don’t know where to start. Giving is a great way to help the homeless during the holidays, but it’s also an easy thing to forget in the flurry of shopping and entertainment. Luckily, there are many organizations around Canada that accept donations year-round, and points programs through retailers that you can donate. 

By using your everyday purchases for good—usually through dedicated giving portals by companies or special promotions via retailers—you can give back without any extra effort on your part.


Katie Robertson contributed to our Winter Edition. Read the rest of the article here


Enjoyed what you read, please read our write up on Edmonton’s Food Bank.



Don’t Miss Our News Updates!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.