We often get so busy in our own everyday lives that we forget to take the time to help others. Giving back to the community and helping others is one of my core values. This Christmas Eve, I spent the evening delivering gifts on behalf of Volunteer Toronto and The Neighbourhood Group, to seniors lacking in mobility and living alone.
I don’t have any family in Toronto, so Christmas time is generally quiet for me. So this year I felt that helping the less fortunate was a great way to spend my time, time that is otherwise spent indulging in barbecue food on a hot summers day, getting sunburnt and kayaking on an Australian beach. Together with my friends, we delivered gifts around the downtown Toronto area.
There are many charities you can get involved with; not only during the holiday season, but also all year round. If you have a few hours to spare, or even a few days, here are 10 fun ideas by Volunteer Toronto on how to get involved.
- Collect books and start a little free library.
- Give blood.
- Make a care kit for the homeless and give them out directly or donate them to Red Door Shelter.
- Bring a box of new books to SickKids.
Donate your Airmiles to charity.
Donate a shoe-box of items to a child in need through Samaritan’s Purse.
- Organize a coat/warm winter clothing drive and donate items to a local shelter or other organization. Create the Good has great step-by-step instructions.
- Adopt an endangered animal through the Toronto Zoo or give wildlife a holiday meal by donating to the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
- Donate items to the Ronald McDonald House Toronto wishlist.
- Host a fundraising event for the cause of your choice. UNICEF has great toolkit to get you started.
Contributing to charities with a group of people makes me feel that I am apart of a community. The word “community” can have a number of different meanings. Community to me means being connected with like-minded people and working towards common goals. Community is an environment that makes you feel happy, safe and content. I was surprised at the generosity of my friends who were willing to give me a helping hand. I hope to contribute more to the community with my friends by getting involved in different charity organisations in the year ahead.
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