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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Ways to give back this holiday season

December 12, 2022

With the pandemic, rising costs, and inflation, life is hitting all of us a little hard this Christmas. If you can afford it and have the time, consider contributing by packing a shoe box with necessities, organizing your closet and donating, or even by volunteering your time. Anything helps! This article offers various suggestions for how you may lend a hand, be kind, and give back throughout the Christmas season, possibly earning yourself a spot on Santa's nice list.

Give Your Time

Volunteering may make you feel good while also giving back to your community, and it does not cost you a penny (well, maybe gas). Besides gas, you can find local volunteer opportunities, saving you money on both. If you are on a tight budget this holiday season and want to give back but can not afford to donate, volunteering your time is still an excellent way to support the neighbourhood and spread holiday cheer. Engaging in charitable endeavours is free and can also benefit your emotional and physical health. Consider the issues that have impacted you personally or are particularly dear to your heart while looking for volunteer opportunities. I started volunteering in the summer of 2022 at Ajax's brand-new long-term care facility. A long-term care facility called Lakeridge Gardens opened next to Ajax Pickering Hospital in the spring of 2022. Every second of my volunteer work has been enjoyable.

Examples of places you can volunteer this Christmas:

Becoming a Volunteer at Lakeridge Health

Click this link to become a volunteer at Lakeridge health, either within the hospital itself or the long-term care home! 

Holiday Helpers

A registered charity, Holiday Helpers Canada, seeks to provide a single Christmas gift to low-income families with young children actively trying to improve their situation. The customized care packages offer the recipient families much-needed financial relief, joy, and inspiration. Spreading holiday happiness to a family trying to make ends meet is the most satisfying thing you can do. If you click on the link, you can learn more about how to volunteer and how you can help distribute items to individuals who are in need.

Find Volunteer Opportunities Near You!

Card Making + Letter Writing

Design a card or write a nice note and send it to someone to brighten their Christmas season with a bit of holiday happiness! This is a simple way to give back and donate while staying within your budget this season. You may create handcrafted cards to cheer up the spirits of elderly folks and hospitalized youngsters and write encouraging notes to lonely elders, thank you notes to veterans, and love notes to ill individuals.

Examples include:

Online Projects & Virtual Volunteering

Fundraising, marketing, translation, proofreading, logo and web design are some ways you can provide service from home.

Examples include:

Give the gift of life by donating blood

Canadian Blood Services

Organize a coat and winter clothing drive in your community, donating the items to a local shelter

How to hold a coat drive

Make a care kit for the homeless

Fil kits with items like socks, deodorant, mittens and snacks—give them out directly or donate them to your local shelter or drop-in.

This is one of the simplest ways to give back; companies like Dollarama or Dollar Tree are one of the most affordable and budget-friendly alternatives because they provide high-quality items for a low price, such as socks and mittens. Another fantastic low-cost alternative is canned products, which are regularly on sale; you must keep an eye out for such offers!

Clean out your closet & pantry

One of the simplest ways to give back is to go through your old canned goods that have not passed their expiration date but that you no longer use, clothes that no longer fit you, are out of style, you no longer like them, etc., or even old toys or books that are in acceptable condition and can be donated to your local charity, food bank, or other organization. This is the most cost-effective option because it requires no extra costs. Furthermore, winter cleaning is never a bad thing; by removing items you no longer use, you may prepare for the new year while also aiding someone else. This is a win-win situation for everyone. Furthermore, Christmas is approaching, and if you celebrate it, you will soon get new products for which you will want additional storage space.

Ways to donate on the more expensive side, if you can afford it:

Sponsor a Family

Many local stores and nonprofits will offer lists of people who can't afford gifts. Choose to sponsor a family — buying gifts for everyone on the list — and even throw in a gift card for a holiday meal if you can.

Donate Clothing for Newborns in the NICU 

It can be challenging for families to find the holiday spirit when a newborn is facing an uphill battle, so go shopping for holiday preemie outfits and donate to your local hospital. A little love goes a long way

Specialized NICU Preemie Clothing

Toys for Tots

Run by the Marines, it may be the most well-known Christmas effort around. Take your kids, siblings or yourself to the toy store to pick out toys to donate. Make sure they are unwrapped!

Toys for Tots

Operation Christmas Child

This nationwide charity asks you to fill a shoebox and has delivered more than 157 million boxes worldwide.

Operation Christmas Child

Check out your local hospital's wish book.

 2022 Ajax- Pickering Christmas Wishbook

I hope this list was useful and inspired you to consider giving this holiday season. Times are tough right now, especially for everyone, but I can guarantee you will feel good knowing you helped someone out by giving them money, food, clothing, or even a card. Bringing a smile to another person's face is the nicest gift anybody could have, so I really hope you would give some serious thought to investigating one of these opportunities.