by Susy Alexandre December 19, 2022

Giving Back in Your Community this Holiday Season

Credit: Unsplash

This season, now more than ever, the need in vulnerable communities and for those who are less fortunate is greater than ever. 

At a time where gift-giving and more-is-more sets the scene for the holiday, it’s important to remember the true spirit of the season. By being extra conscious and considerate this time of year, your generosity can make the difference to someone in need. 

There are several ways to get involved in your community and give back this holiday season. Whether you’re able to donate funds, time or energy, we’re here to inspire you with a few key ways you can make a difference! 

Host a holiday food drive 

Get together with friends and loved ones this season and do some good while you’re at it by hosting a mini food-drive. Whether it’s just few people or something you’re able to organize with neighbours for a community-wide event, any and all effort makes a difference - and every donation counts. 

Per Food Banks Canada, food bank use is up 35% from 2019. People are struggling more than ever, and many families will go hungry this holiday season without the help and support of their communities. For more information and ways you can donate directly to the Food Banks Canada initiative, click here

Donate winter clothing and accessories 

It’s good practice to donate unwanted and under-used clothing to local shelters throughout the year, but in the harsh winter months, this generosity is especially appreciated. Many people are struggling to afford the basic necessities of life, and that can often leave seasonal basics as an afterthought. Winter coats, warm layers, gloves, scarves, boots and socks are just a few of the much-needed items to consider donating this season.  

Hosting a holiday get-together this season? Consider asking guests to bring an item of clothing or winter accessory to add to your own donation haul. 

Minimize wastefulness 

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There are several ways to minimize wastefulness and make a positive impact this holiday season.

Recycle delivery boxes and gift wrap

Odds are you’ll be doing a little (or a lot!) of online shopping this season. Don’t take a holiday from being environmentally-conscious and stick to your usual recycling routine – ensuring you recycle all delivery boxes and gift wrap used throughout the season. 

Use reusable shopping bags

The holiday season means shoppers will be frequenting grocery stores and such more than usual. One way to minimize wastefulness in your shopping is by skipping the plastic and making use of reusable bags when running errands. Keep a stack readily available on your way out by the front door, or stored in your trunk for convenience. 

Consider using reusable bags and gift boxes for gifts this season

While it’s not always feasible to take this approach when gifting to others, consider swapping out wrapping paper for reusable gift bags this holiday season. Whether they’re going under your tree or to others, gift bags are easy to re-use and more often stored for future use, versus wrapping paper, which is nearly always tossed after gifts are opened. 

Tip: To make gift bags even more practical for re-use, select ones with neutral designs and not in holiday-themes, so that they can be put to use for any occasion year-round. 

Donate your time at a local shelter

Often, when we cannot afford to give money or do not have items to donate, we feel discouraged at our options in giving back to the community. One thing to remember is that one of the most valuable things we can contribute to those in need is our time, energy and good spirits.

Giving some of your time and positive energy to helping out at your local shelter, taking an active role volunteering at a food drive or other donation effort - these are all impactful ways to give back to your community. And this doesn’t have to translate to a massive time commitment on your part, it can be just a weekend’s worth of time or an hour in your day - everything counts! 

Some local resources for volunteer opportunities in Richmond Hill include: 

“Yellow Brick House provides life-saving services and prevention programs to meet the diverse needs of individuals, families, and communities impacted by violence.”

  • 360ºKids - 3,500 youth are served every year via 360ºKids; offering essential services to meet the growing needs of youth from every municipality throughout the York region, with a reputation “ leaders in offering high quality, innovative programming to the people we serve”.

The City of Richmond Hill has a full directory of local volunteer opportunities, which you can access here. Check in with your local community representatives and official websites for resources, assistance for those in need and information on how you can make a difference.

At Royal LePage Your Community Realty, giving back and supporting our communities has always been a top priority. In that spirit, our offices have been accepting food donation drop-offs of non-perishable items and toy donations (in collaboration with the Toy Mountain initiative) throughout the season. 

For more tips and posts on things happening in your community, please see our blog page. 

This time of year is joyous and fun for many, but for others, it’s the most difficult season of all. Remember to be kind, check in on loved ones and if possible, get involved in some way within your community this holiday.

Credit: Unsplash

Wishing you and your families a happy and healthy holiday and New Year!

Royal LePage Your Community Realty is Canada’s largest independently-owned Royal LePage franchise, with over 1000 agents and 10 office locations to serve you and your clients. 

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