Thursday 21 November 2013

Giving that Costs so Little and Means So Much #GivingBack #TisTheSeason

Free and inexpensive ways to give during the holiday season.

We all have bills, and responsibilities. All of us have to watch our pennies, and budget to make ends meet, but if you're like me you still want to find a way to give back, especially around the holidays. 

I've put together a list of ideas that are either free, or cost very little to give. 

While it may cost so little, it means so much. Not only will you be helping those in need, spreading love and good will, but you'll also be an example to those around you. Who knows who might be inspired; your kids, siblings, co-workers, neighbours, even strangers.
Your local agencies, charities, and shelters are easily located by doing a Google search. 
EG: shelters, donations, Toronto.
  • Donate gently used clothing to a local shelter or mission so it can be distributed to the homeless and those in need. In particular jackets, hats, gloves, socks, boots, blankets, sleeping bags,  knapsacks, and dufflebags. 
  • Recently I've seen several posts about filling purses you no longer use with items like mini-shampoos, soap, kleenex, wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc. and dropping them to homeless shelters.
  • Donate gently used clothes, toys and books to a women's shelter. The coffee and the tea from the hotel room and hotel toiletries are also perfect for someone that is in temporary accommodations. I know this because I called a local women's shelter and asked, but each shelter may be different. Take a minute to call and ask what items a shelter near you needs. 
  • Baby clothes and items can be donated to teen mother organizations and homes. They are always very much appreciated. Remember certain items like car seats have expiry dates and are generally not accepted.
  •  Donate gently used children's snowsuits, hats, mitts, and boots to a Snowsuit Fund or Snowsuit collection in your area. Canadian winters are cold, and no child should go without a warm jacket.
  • Collect the small bottles of shampoo, soap and toiletries from hotel stays, and/or the toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss you get from your dentist. Donate them to a shelter or to a food bank. Sort the items into into small ziplock bags for easy distribution.
  • Children's books your kids no longer use can be donated to a school library. School libraries get very little by way of budgets to buy new or to replace books. Your donations can go a long way. Same goes for magazine subscriptions; Chirp, Chickadee, Skateboarding and Snowboarding Magazines, Popular Science and Mechanic and Canadian Geographic are all popular with students even if they are a year or two old. 
  • Adult novels can be donated to nursing homes or shelters or your local library.
  • If you are donating canned foods to a food drive or food bank make a list watch for sales and use coupons to increase your donation. You can often double the donation by smart purchasing, and who doesn't love a deal! 
  • Give the gift of time. Volunteer in your neighbourhood, a local school, church, seniors home, or charity.  Volunteer Canada
  • Offer to put Christmas lights up for a senior, or if they no longer drive offer to take them grocery shopping, or to an appointment.
  • Bake some cookies or holiday treats and deliver them to someone who has mobility issues and doesn't get out.
  • Shovel the snow for someone! Especially a senior or a Mom with small kids or baby and can't easily get out.
  • Mentor someone: share your skills, talents, and expertise. Help with a resume. Practise interview skills. Tutor a student. 
  • Babysit or Seniorsit and give a tired, overworked caregiver a break. A couple of hours can be so important to managing stress and coping.
There you go! A bunch of ideas for giving that doesn't have to cost a lot of money. 
Tis the season! 
Wishing everyone a joy filled holiday season!

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about giving back.


  1. So many great ideas. I am proud to say that we do many of them. I'm currently writing up my Charity Gift Guide post were 100% of the profits go to my local food bank. But I know that you already know that because you have been such a big supporter from the beginning.

    The one thing that I am desperate to do is give blood. My son Alexander needed a transfusion when he was ill. While it didn't end up saving his life, without someone's selfless act, he would not have stood a chance. Unfortunately, due to my travels in Mexico (in malaria territory), I am not allowed to donate.

    You are such a kind soul.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

    1. Sarah thanks for reading and commenting. You are always so kind and generous with your support and words.