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10 places that need gifts more than you do 

’Tis the season of giving, so here’s how you can help the community.

click to enlarge A Shoebox Project packing project - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • A Shoebox Project packing project
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

1. The Shoebox Project
The Shoebox Project for Shelters began in Toronto in 2011 and the Halifax branch started up the following year. Since then, it's continued to grow. The idea is to decorate shoeboxes and full them with toiletries and little luxuries women living with low-income or living in shelters can't always afford. The deadline for this year is Saturday, December 9, so hop to it. You can find product suggestions and drop-off locations on the project's website.
shoeboxproject.com/halifax.html

2. Litters 'n Critters Rescue Society
While it may be tempting, experts will tell you taking a pet home for Christmas usually isn't a good idea. Here's what you can do instead: Donate to a local rescue. Litters 'n Critters is one such organization. Aeroplan miles, dog toys or treats and financial contributions are all accepted. littersncritters.com/donate

3. Feed Nova Scotia
According to the organization's website, 65 percent of Feed Nova Scotia's food donations come from individual donors. You can be one of those donors by giving food or funds. For more information on most needed food items, visit the website below. You can also donate your time by registering as a volunteer. feednovascotia.ca/donate

4. Books Beyond Bars
Books Beyond Bars works to improve access to books and writing in the women's section of the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside. The initiative only accepts adult books specified on its list, but it is always accepting non spiral-bound journals, monetary donations, bookstore gift cards and children's books for its read aloud program. booksbeyondbars.wordpress.com

5. Avalon Sexual Assault Centre
The pervasiveness of sexual assault and other instances of violence against women is becoming increasingly present in the news. While it's positive these things are getting attention, the stories can be shitty to read. Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is one of the local organizations helping survivors of sexual assault, and you can help them too. avaloncentre.ca/donate

6. Out of the Cold
This volunteer-run organization helps provide people with shelter and support as the temperature outside drops and it is open for the 2017/2018 season as of December 1. Monetary donations or items on the "supplies needed" list are accepted.
outofthecoldhalifax.org/donate.php

7. Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
ISANS helps new Canadians settle into Nova Scotia by offering language programs, childcare, employment counselling and more.
isans.ca/about/making-a-donation

8. Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH)
MOSH provides primary health care such as check-ups, blood work and pregnancy tests to people who are homeless or insecurely housed. Services are accessible from Sunday to Friday at multiple locations around HRM.
moshhalifax.ca, donations accepted via CanadaHelps.org

9. Souls Harbour Rescue Mission
Souls Harbour provides meals, shelter and recovery support to those living in poverty and addiction. You can donate to the general fund or pick a specific campaign, including the Merry Christmas Campaign. Although it's a Christian organization, they state that they won't turn anyone away based on religion. shrm.ca/index.php/donate

10. Canadian Blood Services
Don't have money to donate? It's fine. You have the blood in your veins. You'll have to get a needle in your arm, yes, but you will be doing something good and you'll also get some free juice and cookies.
blood.ca/en/donate


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