What to Give Calgary Charities This Holiday Season

If you intend to donate to charity this holiday season, here are the things the charities are hoping to get.

Illustration by Dan Page

Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, it likely includes the tradition of gift giving. For many, that extends to charitable giving as well. Most charities and non-profits will gladly accept cash, but beyond that they also have specific holiday requests. Here’s how you can make a contribution that truly counts.


Project Warmth Society of Alberta

Project Warmth has a mission to keep underprivileged and homeless people warm and dry in our cold and snowy city. The organization accepts donations of any size of parkas, coats, gloves, scarves and other warm clothing items. Project Warmth will accept used clothing. You can also donate blankets and sleeping bags. Drop donations off at your nearest City of Calgary fire station.


The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed has some creative ways you can give back during the holidays. Its 2019 Christmas Wish List includes options to build a backpack or fill a hamper for guests. When building a backpack, fill it with stuff like underwear, toques, a flashlight, gift cards for coffee, first aid kits and more. The “fill a hamper” option is more about food, with items like canned vegetables, potatoes, a ham, turkey or chicken, cranberry sauce and other holiday staples. For information, visit theseed.ca.


Calgary Food Bank

The Calgary Food Bank puts together a holiday wish list every year. At the top of that list this year is pull-tab soup, peanut butter, baby food, pasta and evaporated milk. The Food Bank also needs canned carrots, green beans, soup, peas, mixed vegetables, brown beans and meats. Celiacs use the food bank, too, so gluten-free pancake mix, biscuit mix, bread mix and pasta is on the list as well. You can drop off non-perishable items in donation bins at any major grocery store or drop off both perishable and non-perishable items directly to the food bank warehouse. Visit calgaryfoodbank.com/wishlist to see requests for each month and information on what you can and can’t donate.


Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter

CWES always needs winter clothing in all sizes for families, specifically coats, jackets and hoodies. For sanitary reasons they only accept donations of new clothing (with tags on). Packs of adult and youth transit tickets are also appreciated. Call 403-539-5130 or email info@cwes.ca to schedule a drop-off.


Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre

The DI seeks holiday donations of underwear (new, of course), new or used coats, gloves and toques, winter boots of any size, backpacks and luggage. Additionally, The DI wants household items like new or used cookware and hygiene items like razors and deodorant. Treat DI clients to a coffee with $5 or $10 gift cards to Tim Hortons, or if you want to make a larger donation, you can sponsor a meal during the holiday season, either with or without a volunteering shift. For more information visit calgarydropin.ca.

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This article appears in the December 2019 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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