Most of the things I do are around the holiday season, which inspired my past last year about Being Charitable. My office usually sponsors some families where we donate money or items to buy the family gifts and clothing that they need and want. I remember doing this when I was in high school too. I also donate to different initiatives at church and in the community.
The truth is though that I could do much more than what I do. It is easy to make excuses about not having enough time or money, but a lot of things are simple to do and I should be doing more throughout the year too, not just at Christmastime.
As E gets older, I want to make sure he realizes how fortunate he is and how he can help others. I would love to spend some time volunteering with him at a shelter or food bank.
Some local charities that I like to support are:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - In addition to regular cash donations, CAMH has specific gifts you can buy for its patients like an emergency kit (socks, underwear, basic toiletries), pyjamas and slippers, and teddy bear and blanket.
Daily Bread Food Bank - I always make a donation to this place because food is so fundamental to life and to think that people are deciding between rent and food is sad.
Sick Kids Hospital - This is a big organization that gets lots of donations, but they do really great work. We only went to Sick Kids one time, and it turned out to be nothing (E coughed up blood when he was only a few weeks old, turned out it was blood in my breast milk), but I was so impressed with the care that we received and the facilities that they have there. I was reminded of how lucky I am to have a healthy child. So for those that are at the hospital all the time, they deserve the best care.
The Open Door - This is a centre based at Square One Mall in Mississauga. Our firm has been connected with them over the years and I have volunteered at one of their dinners, donated money and gifts, and this is where some of our sponsored families come from. This is a drop in centre for people who need extra assistance. The people that work there know everyone and what their specific needs are. They take donations of diapers, gift cards for grocery stores and Wal-Mart, and bus tickets. They also take donations for Tim Hortons gift cards. I found out there that are some Tim's where they let people stay there all night during the winter months. The Tim's card lets them buy some coffee and food throughout the night.
What I'd like to do, while I make plans for Christmas, is add some specific gifts that I can give to those that need them more than we do.
If it's not too late, then I'll link up with Andrea.