How to Give Back This Winter

Posted on December 15, 2016 - Some of the best holiday memories involve cozying up by the fireplace with our loved ones, feasting on delicious Christmas meals and unwrapping brand new presents.

Unfortunately, not everyone in Vancouver gets to have that experience. So if you’re looking for a way to put your good cheer to good use and give back this winter, check out the options below for ways to volunteer your time and skills, donate goods or support a great cause.

Donate pet food & supplies to the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA helps over 35,000 abused and homeless animals every year and they could certainly use your help in doing so. Visit their page for a list of items in need or shop their wishlist on Amazon. You can even make a donation in honour of your pet so they can help out another furry friend in need.

Volunteer with The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is always looking for help, whether it be a one-time seasonal gig or something on-going. As a volunteer, you can get involved in just about anything from office administration and gardening to visiting seniors and providing disaster relief. Check out their website for more information about how you can put your skills and interests to good use.

Donate household items to Helping Families In Need Society

The end of the year is the perfect time to clear your house out of all of the items you’re no longer using. And what better incentive to get rid of that couch no one ever sits on than to donate it to a family without? Check out the Helping Families In Need Society’s website for a list of accepted donations and how you can help 1300 families in need in the Lower Mainland.

Clean up the beach at the English Bay Beach Clean Up & Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

Join your fellow environmentalists on December 17th for a festive and fun day of restoring our beautiful coast at the English Bay Beach Clean Up & Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. For even more ways to support our earth, you can make a monetary donation to the Environmental Defence. All donations made before January 1st will be matched by the Board of Volunteers!

Donate toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau

Growing up, Christmas is all about the toys. It’s hard to think about a child going without on Christmas. Which is why the Christmas Bureau accepts toys for children of all ages, from babies to teens, all year round. Check out their website for the donation drop-off location and a list of most wished for items.

Volunteer with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is always looking for volunteers and there are countless ways to help out. You can organize a group sort and take on a day of volunteering with your family or colleagues at the office. Or you can sign up for a role in the warehouse, administration or events. Check out their site for all of the details on how you can help feed and support Vancouver’s hungry.

Shop the YWCA wishlist and Simplify The Season

Support single mothers and children by purchasing a gift from the YWCA wishlist. Instead of buying your mom yet another scarf, use the money to buy groceries or clothing for a family in need in her name. What mom wouldn’t want to help out another mom at Christmas?

Volunteer with Operation Red Nose

Operation Red Nose provides safe rides home to drivers/passengers who have been drinking or are too tired to drive safely. This innovative program provided over 7000 safe rides in BC last year and raised almost $200,000 for local charities. Visit their webpage to learn more about getting involved.

Whether you want to help families in need, animals or the environment, there are so many great organizations to contribute towards. Remember that most of these organizations, any many others in Vancouver, can use your support all year round, not just at Christmas. Get inspired by giving back this holiday season and make it a year long theme in 2017.

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