Holiday Giving in Niagara

holiday giving

The holidays tend to be a busy time for all of us, filled with family get-togethers, extra activities and shopping. But the holidays can also provide lots of opportunities to volunteer and help others. It’s a good time of year to talk to your kids about the spirit of the holidays and holiday giving, and about other children who might not have a Christmas filled with lots of food and presents. It’s also a good time to start setting an example for your kids of giving to people who are less fortunate.

Before the holidays, kids can go through their toys and decide which they would like to donate to other kids – be sure they are still in good condition.

You can also start a Kindness Advent Calendar to celebrate kindness and do good deeds throughout the month of December.

Many schools, churches, food banks and other charitable organizations are looking for gifts of food, toys and gifts for adults, such as toiletries or gift certificates. This is another opportunity to introduce your child to the idea of helping those less fortunate.

If your family volunteers or donates at Christmas time, or is interested in starting this year, here is a list of just some of the organizations that you can choose from:


Gillian’s Place

Adopt a Family
You can help spread the holiday spirit by becoming a Star of Hope for woman and children this Christmas. When you choose to help, Gillian’s Place supplies a wish list provided by the Mom and her children which you can use to shop with. Every year the need for this program increases and without adoption, many families would not be able  to experience the joy of the Holiday Season. The deadline to register for this program is November 6th (though registrations may be accepted after this date if there is sufficient need). For more information, contact Kaylie at 905-563-5548 ext. 22 or

Corporate Tree Tags
Your business can support Gillian’s Place by displaying tree tags this holiday season. The tags will contain the age and name of a child being helped by Gillian’s Place. Encourage your employees and/or customers to take a tree tag and purchase a gift for that child, then drop off your unwrapped gifts with the attached tree tags before December 15th. For more information and to request corporate tree tags, contact Kaylie at 905-563-5548 ext. 22 or

Holiday Drives
Host a holiday drive for the clients of Gillian’s Place in your business, family or community organization. Drives are a great way to collect items continuously needed by the clients of Gillian’s Place. These include pyjamas, housecoats, slippers, shoes for women and children (all sizes, running and dress), household cleaning products, non perishable food, and gift certificates. For more information on donation drives, please contact Valerie at 905-684-4000 ext. 233 or


Community Care

Community Care requires significant financial support to deliver the programs and services that will assist those in the community who struggle to make ends meet. As temperatures become colder and everyday tasks become more and more difficult, please consider giving. Donate, so everyone experiences a little joy this holiday season…
Through the incredible generosity of our community, Community Care strives to make sure that tummies are filled, beds are kept warm, lights are kept on, many shelter needs are met…and they hope that families can enjoy a Christmas dinner, with presents under the tree.
They can only do this through the thoughtfulness of people such as you. It is their hope that you will partner with the in making Christmas wishes come true!

Shining Star and Major Gifts
The most significant impact you can make this holiday season is a monetary donation to our Shining Star Campaign. Your gift will give Community Care the ability to help the 3,000 local families that will register with them this Christmas. They will utilize your valuable dollars and stretch them far to meet the needs of individuals and families seeking their assistance in such a meaningful way.
Chrissy Sadowski |
905.685.1349 ext. 245

Through the generosity of our community this invaluable opportunity affords our families the chance to be privately adopted by a family, group or business. Allowing them to enjoy the season of giving without stress or worry, knowing there will be food on the table and gifts for their children.
If you were a sponsor, or if you are considering being a sponsor…thank you this program cannot happen without you!
Cost: Please expect the average overall cost to be approximately $100 per person including gifts for each child, a small parent gift and the appropriate grocery voucher.
Grocery Voucher: PLEASE include a voucher for your family’s dinner. Community Care will let you know which grocery store best suits “your particular family’s needs”. The opportunity to personally shop for their own families is an added bonus for many of our clients; plus traditions vary and allergies abound. By providing this independence, you are enhancing their gift! 
Wish List: The child’s “Wish List” will be supplied to you for ideas and sizes – these are only suggestions. Books, PJs, socks or underwear, plus stocking stuffers are also suggested presents for your sponsored child up to 18 years of age. Gift certificates are ideal for older siblings. Small gifts for parents or caregiver(s) are equally enjoyed by children.
Rhiannon Fleming |
905.685.1349 ext. 235

Adopt-An-Angel, Teen or Senior
Through the Adopt an Angel Program, toys, stocking stuffers and warm winter accessories are collected for children from babies to 12 years of age.
Families/Individuals: This program works wonderfully for families who wish to give a gift that will truly make a difference.
EXAMPLE of possibilities:
Place a limit on the amount spent – $10, $15, $20 each – your choice. Each person purchases something for someone their own age: the 5 year old helps shop for a 5 year old gift, the teenager for another teen their age, a grandmother purchases for a senior (perhaps a stocking stuffer).
Danielle Cook |
905.685.1349 ext. 235

Keep Someone Warm, Holiday Barrels and Food Drives
Introduce a month-long campaign with a barrel, appropriately labelled, offering a different type of donation each week; or choose just one of the following types of drives! Perfect for companies, organizations, schools, apartment buildings, etc.
Donation jars and tax receipt forms are also available.
Week 1: NEW stocking stuffer toys
Week 2: NEW warm winter accessories: hats, gloves, scarves, socks, underwear, PJs, long underwear for ALL ages.
Week 3: ALL ages need personal hygiene products. We may take many of these items for granted; however, for others it is a luxury: soaps, shampoos, diapers, baby products, shaving products, toilet paper, personal hygiene products, new towels and face cloths.
Week 4: Non-perishable foods (we can send you our most current needed list) and/or Christmas “goodies” food drive – the treats we all enjoy during the holidays.
In St. Catharines: John Edgar 905-685-1349 ext. 228 | 

In Thorold: Maxine Hutchings 905.227.9240 | 

For more information, visit


Project SHARE

You can help those who are living below the poverty line experience the joy of the holidays by:

  • Making a monetary, food or gift donation
  • Hosting a food or toy drive in your place of business
  • Participating in the Good News Breakfast Challenge
  • Sponsoring a specific family

Most needed donations each holiday season include:

  • Gifts for Teenage Girls (Make Up Kits, Hair Styling Tools, Perfume, Ardenes Gift Cards & Fashion Accessories: Scarves, etc)
  • Gifts for Teenage Boys (EB Games gift cards, Skateboards, Electric Shavers, Body Wash/Cologne)
  • Gift Cards: Cineplex, Walmart
  • Gifts for Toddlers (Toddler & Pre-School Toys)
  • Pajamas
  • Winter Accessories (hats, mitts, scarves)
  • Toiletries (toothbrushes, body wash, shampoo, etc.)

For more information on how you can support our annual Christmas Program call 905-357-5121 ext 35.
Client registration takes place during November. For more information on receiving assistance at Christmas call 905-357-5121 ext 35.


Niagara Area Children’s Assistance Program

Niagara Area Children’s Assistance Program is a registered charity dedicated to assisting families within the Niagara Region who require assistance during the holiday seasons.
Are you interested in sponsoring a family this holiday season? NACAP has received dozens of application requests, even before they have opened registration.
If you wish to become an “Angel for the Children”, please contact the NACAP and they can ensure you receive a list of families that you may chose from.


YWCA St. Catharines

Christmas should be a joyful time to celebrate with loved ones, but for those living in the shelter, it can be particularly difficult. That is why the YWCA staff and volunteers work tirelessly to raise spirits and to ensure that on Christmas morning, all 200 women, children and some men throughout the region will have a gift to open of their own.
They can’t do it alone! They hope that this year you will consider donating an unwrapped gift that just might make someone’s holiday season a little brighter. Thank you!
Men & Women’s Items:

* Journals and pens* Gift toiletries* Hairbrushes and combs

* Movies – DVD’s

* Movie Gift Certificates

* Scarf, hat and glove sets

* Winter socks, slippers, P.J.’s, housecoats

* Hand creams

* Make-up/ Perfume

* Trinkets

* Beading Supplies

* Knitting & Crocheting Supplies

* Scrap booking Supplies

* Mugs* Towels* Bed in a Bag

* Day Planners

* Christmas candy/ Chocolate

* $5.00 long distance calling cards

* Walmart gift certificates

* Hair Dryers

* Clock radios

* Toasters, Housewares, Cookware

* Silverware, Tupperware

* Tools


Teen Items:

* Gift Certificates for the Mall, Movie Theater, Book Store,       Fast Food* Hats* Gloves

* Socks

* Journals

* Jewelry

* Bathroom Gift Baskets

* Board Games

* Hair Dryers

* Curling Irons* Hair Straighteners* Beauty Products

* Pajamas


* MP3 Player

* Watch

* Handheld video game

* Soccer balls, footballs, basketballs,    volleyballs

Children Items:

* Colouring and activities books* Crayons, markers, paints* Scarf, hat and gloves

* Winter socks, slippers, P.J.s

* Non-violent toys, stuffed animals

* Batteries

For more information, contact or 905-988-3528


Looking for More Christmas & Holiday Information? Click Here!


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