It’s my very favourite time of year – all crafting and baking and twinkle lights, gingerbread and ornaments and candles lit when the sun goes down and shovelling in the sparkly sunshine…and giving back.
A few weeks ago, I took my two kiddos to one of my very favourite places in Toronto – The Children’s Book Bank. They focus on building literacy in low-income neighbourhoods and provide books to kids and their families – every kid who walks through the door gets to take home their very own book! It’s truly a remarkable place. We took a load of book donations and my kids came home with a dino book that has been read multiple times a day since, and a copy of The Snowy Day – a perfect read for this week’s first snow fall! of the year! (They are always looking for donations, ps!)
If you’re looking for places to give back this holiday season, I’ve worked with some amazing organizations that are doing incredible, important work building strong, vibrant communities:
- United Way Peel Region (most communities have a UW if you’d rather give locally!)
- The David Suzuki Foundation
- Toronto Public Library Foundation
Having kids has made me even more aware of the need to counter all of this gift getting with gift giving, so yesterday, while my toddler was waiting for the sun to set so we could light the Hanukkah candles, we went through the SickKids “catalogue” and chose to give Holiday Cooking & Baking Supplies,Water Therapy, crayons, Arts & Craft Supplies and parking $ for patients’ families (and I sobbed the entire time!)
I also am a huge fan of the work by:
- FoodShare, a Toronto-based organization that increases access to vegetables and fruit through community led projects
- StopGap Foundation, who are making the world accessible one ramp at a time
- Doctors Without Borders, because the world needs them more than ever
- Planned Parenthood, because women’s rights are human rights
I feel so lucky and so grateful to be able to help support organizations in my very, very local community, my city, my country and abroad.
Merry merry, happy happy…