- Donate to a food bank
Many food banks see a greater need than they can meet. Food blogger Dinner With Julie recommends making food donations into a habit for each day in December leading up to Christmas. She suggests putting one non-perishable item per day in a box and donating it on Dec. 25.
The Nova Scotia community and social service helpline has already been flooded with calls from Nova Scotians looking to help refugees. You can provide money, clothes, food, or a place to stay. “We have been overwhelmed with the generous offers of support from Nova Scotians,” said Gerry Mills, the director of operations for the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, in a statement posted to the provincial government’s website.
- Share your clothes
A Caledonia woman taught some children a valuable lesson when she brought them to Halifax to give out winter jackets. Haligonians can share warmth by giving their extra clothes to thrift stores. “The demand this year is already higher than ever and we are not expecting that to stop anytime soon,” said Michele Walker of the Salvation Army.
- Help out at Out of the Cold
Are you a hands-on kind of giver? Out of the Cold, an emergency winter shelter, is always looking for volunteers. You can help out by doing things like greeting people as they enter the shelter, doing grocery runs, making dinner and helping with laundry. You will need to register and get a criminal record check before you lend a hand.
- Get your hands dirty
The City of Halifax is requesting everyone’s help to clear leaves. On Nov. 16, the city started the annual Fall Leaf Clean-Up Program. Keeping sidewalks, roads, and lawns leaf-free helps ensure proper drainage when Halifax gets rain and snow.
- Participate in a gift drive
Numerous organizations are looking for gift donations for underprivileged families. Unleash your inner child and pick the gifts you always wanted at the toy store! You will make someone very happy on Christmas morning. Adopt-a-Family through Feed Nova Scotia or Christmas Daddies are great places to start.
- Shop locally
Small Business Saturday is this weekend in Halifax. Some stores will be offering special deals for the day. Buying your Christmas gifts on Spring Garden Road or at the Hydrostone Market – many of which are independently owned and operated – supports business owners, store employees and local artisans.
- Donate money to a charity
Don’t have time to give? Monetary donations go a long way for local charities like the Halifax Sexual Health Centre, Sable Island Preservation Trust and Laing House. Here’s a full list of Halifax charities in need of some money.
- Visit a senior
Older Haligonians can be lonely, especially when winter weather keeps more people inside. According to the website of Spencer House senior centre, it aims to “enable older adults to live independently, contribute to their community and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.” As long as you’re over 18, you can volunteer there!