Family-friendly ways to make a difference this holiday season

This time of year, many of us would love to make a larger impact on the world by giving something to those who are most in need. But it can be difficult to find the time or know where to start.

Here are a few ideas you and the whole family can participate in to make the holidays a bit brighter in your community:

  • Volunteer at your local food bank. It need only take a few hours. Make it a family event by taking your children or grandchildren along to help. If time is tight, ask what the shelter or food bank needs. Donate these items as a gift from your family, and let your family know you’ve done this in their name.
  • Donate seasonal decorations or toys to a women’s shelter. A wreath for the door or festive décor at the Christmas table can provide seasonal cheer. Or donate cookies, cakes or toys that the children will enjoy. Check first with the shelter’s manager to find out what would be most appreciated.
  • What about improving the lives of refugees who are living in camps or urban poverty overseas? Getting together with family and friends is the perfect time to talk about refugee sponsorship. It only takes five people to form the minimum size of group that can legally sponsor a refugee or refugee family to Canada. Once you’ve found four other committed people, you’re on your way to saving lives.

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program will match you with a refugee or refugee family and walk you through the sponsorship process. Find more information at

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