The annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy kicked off the start of holiday gift-giving. Whether you were part of the massive crowds and lines at your favourite stores or searched tirelessly online for the best deals, you may have asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
Giving a gift should feel as good to the giver as to the recipient. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) about the price tag. Remember what Dr. Seuss wrote in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”:
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”
After our very successful bazaar, we are being asked where families can reach out for assistance this year. We’ve decided to compile a list of where there is help for those in need while at the same time letting everyone know what they can do locally to assist.
Barrie Agencies Offering Specific Holiday Help
Christmas Cheer https://christmascheerbarrie.com
Christmas Cheer supports people who need help at Christmas. It’s for people receiving financial assistance or no assistance at all. This group helps grandparents raising grandkids, and young parents of young children. It’s there for single parents, married parents, families and single people too.
Barrie Food Bank https://www.barriefoodbank.org
Barrie Food Bank is now open Thursdays from 4 to 7 pm for those needing food support in addition to Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 1-3:30 pm. They will be providing extras for Christmas in their regular grocer hampers to assist with Christmas dinners. Last year they were able to help close to 33,000 individuals with your assistance.
Barrie Families Unite https://www.barriefamiliesunite.com
12 Days of Giving Campaign is a giving challenge that provides local Not For Profit agencies with much-needed items that they give out in abundance every single week.
Pamper a (single) Parent Campaign is a pamper package for low-income single parents in our community. This demographic often gets overlooked as they work hard to provide everything possible for their kids, often neglecting their own needs.
Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexion https://[email protected]
Family Connexion has many opportunities for you to assist struggling families. Whether you choose a financial donation, sponsor a family or collect much-needed items in bulk, every bit helps.
Kool FM/Rock 95 Toy Drive https://[email protected]
This toy drive is in its 31st year of helping give kids a Christmas. They donate the toys collected to various charitable groups throughout Simcoe County. New unwrapped toys can be dropped off at participating Canadian Tire stores or at Barrie’s Toys R Us locations.
Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign https://www.salvationarmybarrie.com
The familiar kettles are stationed around the community along with volunteers. Times are tough for many, as the agency served up 36,000 more meals to residents experiencing homelessness at the downtown Bayside Mission than it did in 2020.
Youth Haven Boxes of Hope https://www.BoxesofHope.ca
Some youth experiencing homelessness never experience the magic and love of Christmas morning. The $50.00 Box of Hope provides gift packages at Christmas to youth. Funds raised are used to purchase items our youth need, including gift cards, gloves, winter hats, hygiene products, toiletries, bus tokens and more!
Shoe Box Program https://shoeboxproject.com/simcoe
The shoe Box Program goal is to provide every vulnerable woman in our community with a special gift for the holidays, boost her self-confidence, restore her dignity, and remind her that she is not alone. Each year they raise funds and goods to fill 300 or more Shoe Boxes.
More Very Special Groups that Assist
There are many more support groups in this incredible community. You may also find assistance within your child’s school, your church, or even on your street that you could personally reach out to.
We have been told often; lately, Barrie is genuinely a City with Heart. Be a Secret Santa to someone that needs a helping hand.
This holiday season is traditionally a time of giving, but what and how you give a gift is entirely up to you, the giver!
Merry Christmas to all!
Written By: Jane Laker
We hope that you’ve found the info in this article helpful. Please let us know if we’ve missed anyone by leaving us a comment.