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  • Writer's pictureoliviaandlaura

Gifts that Give Back

In this blog post, Olivia + Laura share the gifts that give back to communities in need.

Let's be real — the holidays have become very materialistic. The spotlight often shines on giving and receiving gifts, obershadowing the true spirit of the holiday season. Regardless of religious beliefs, the holidays are a chance to reconnect with family, indulge in delicious food and create memories that last a lifetime. Gift giving, of course, plays a role in expressing our appreciation for loved ones and allows us to hand pick something we think they would love.

However, we must recognize that the holiday experience is not the same for everyone. Some may find themselves unable to partake in the luxury of gift giving or enjoying a home cooked meal. Others may grapple with health issues that keep them away from their families.

So, especially during the holiday season, share some time or money to help those in our community who need it the most. Don't know where to start? Read this post for a list of places to visit and activities to partake in to make someone's holidays brighter.

Share the Warmth Food Box

Don't have time to go out and buy food for food banks? Share The Warmth is fighting food insecurity in the Montreal area through food boxes people can donate through online funds. Ranging from 30$ to 150$, you can purchase a food box for a person or family that can last a week or even a month! They also have other programs to fight food-insecurity you can get involved with on their website.

The Shoebox Project

While this cause runs all year round, it is especially important during the holiday season to remind people in your community that you care. A virtual Shoebox is a fun and thoughtful experience of putting together a gift for a local woman in need who has been impacted by homelessness or domestic violence. Build a shoebox by selecting essential items for women to be sent to women in need.

Create yours here!

Toy Donations at McCord Museum

As part of the holidays at the McCord Museum, they invite you to take part in their drive to collect toys and memories, Welcome! Want to play? from December 16, to December 31, 2023. In collaboration with the Centre social d’aide aux immigrants (CSAI), the museum will donate all the toys collected to newcomer families to welcome them to Montreal. Attached with a note, drop the toy into the gift box located close to the installation The Enchanted Village in the Museum Theatre during opening hours.

Click here to find out what is acceptable to donate!

HEMA Quebec Blood Donation

Every 80 seconds someone in Quebec needs blood. This impacts a lot of people around us, so find a Blood Drive near you and donate blood. If you are unable to or are too scared to give, there are also options to volunteer at HEMA Quebec to help during the drives. Let's help someone by giving the gift of blood this season!

Find a location here.

If you just wish to donate to an organization, here are a few suggestions for the Greater Montreal area:

  • Gazette Christmas Fund — each year, the Montreal Gazette raises funds for those who need a little extra help during the holidays. This year's donations will go to a select group of families chosen in partnership with community organiztions across the city.

  • Women's shelters such as Chez Doris or Shield of Athena — help their missions to provide personal hygiene products, health and mental services, housing placements and more!

  • Centraide — help join the fight in putting an end to pverty and social exclusion in the lives of the most vulnerable in Montreal.

  • Moisson Montreal — in addition to organizing food baskets each year for families in need, Moisson also accepts donations to be able to better serve the community!

And remember, most of these families or individuals are in need all year long so there is no need to wait around for the holidays to give back to your community! Even the smallest donation makes the difference.

Happy holidays!


Laura from Olivia and Laura


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