The holidays are the perfect time to wrangle up your family and friends, and give back. After all, we have all been blessed with so much – it’s important to give back at this time of the year. And with so many local charities and organizations looking for some helping hands, it couldn’t be easier to play Santa’s little helper this season. 

Every year, A Canadians Cooking (who does some of our amazing recipes) prints one piece of merch and donates 100% of all the profits to charities. This year they are printing bandanas and donating all the profits to animal rescues. The profits will be divided between Humane Canada, Rosies Animal Adoption, and sauvetage lapins errants. The bandanas are selling for $12 each with the option to round up to $15. The bandanas are printed by a local small business, so the purchasing and work was also given to a local business. If you would like to order, send A Canadians Cooking a direct message on either Facebook or Instagram, or you can email your order to Sales will be taking place until January 8th. Also, prizes may be won with each purchase at the end of the initiative. 

Elves Filling Shelves is a local West Island initiative started by a family who wanted to help a few other less-fortunate families in their community. “A few” has grown into a lot, and they will be helping more than 50 families this holiday season with food donations, gifts, clothing, and more. They match donor families with families in need and provide a shopping list of things that they need. They also accept donations. It’s a great way to get your own family involved in choosing the items, plus kids really identify with the fact that they are helping someone their own age. We did it last year and it was a tremendous experience.

The Montreal Toy Tea collects toys for children and teens who are staying in battered women’s shelters across the city during the holidays. While in the past this was an in-person event, the last several years it has been virtual. For the 31st edition, they’re back to hosting, and this year it takes place on December 7th at the Royal Montreal Regiment. Children from various schools will perform, snacks and tea will be served, and volunteers will be on-hand to collect the new toys attendees are invited to bring.

– Jennifer Cox