7 Local Charities to Support This Holiday Season

Tis’ the season of giving. There are plenty of organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that could use your support, big or small. But charitable giving tends to have the greatest impact when it’s close to home — literally.

If you’re in the spirit this year, here are a few worthy charities near our new community at Markham Gold that deserve your support.

The Centre of Dreams

This is a day program focusing on adults living with a developmental disability. They are dedicated to providing care and educational programs to help integrate these individuals into the community and live independently. Some of their programs include functional academics, life skills, social skills and more.

They accept monetary donations, or you could volunteer your time to assist the staff with the programs, plan activities and enhance the services of the charity. There are also co-op opportunities available for students. For or monetary donations, you have the option to choose where it goes, for example, if you’d specifically like it to go towards the culinary program, that is available.

The Unionville Home Society

This not-for-profit was formed in 1967 to enhance the experience of seniors in the community. They were also responsible for building the first long-term care centre in the city. Donations go towards providing nursing care, food, and comfortable accommodations for long-term care.

Markham Food Bank

With food insecurity across Canada on the rise, food bank use is now at an all-time high. According to the annual report from Food Banks Canada, there were nearly 1.5 million visits to food banks in March 2021 — a 20% increase over pre-pandemic figures.

The Markham Food Banks works diligently to support the community. They are open to monetary donations or volunteers to help distribute food to the community.

Mackenzie Health Foundation

Even now that the worst of the pandemic has passed, hospitals remain overwhelmed, especially amid our current cold and flu season. Mackenzie Health Hospital has a foundation that works to ensure everyone within York Region has access to world-class healthcare.

If you’re looking to give back, you can send a gift, become a donor, or participate in one of the foundation’s events. All proceeds go towards improving the hospital network’s resources, including life-saving equipment.

The Jamaal Magloire Foundation

Founded by the former Toronto Raptor, the Jamaal Magloire Foundation is an arts- and sports-focused charity providing academic and social support to underserved and at-risk youth. Founded in 2017, they host events and offer scholarships to those who need it most. By volunteering or donating, you can help shape the next generation.

We Love You Connie Foundation

In honour of a little girl named Connie Guglietti, The WeLoveYouConnie Foundation was created to support research into a cure for DIPG, a rare but devastating brain cancer that affects children.

This holiday season, every donation will go towards the Lighthouse of Grieving Children and Families, and each one helps light up Connie’s Christmas tree. Alternatively, you can purchase a hairband or bow from Bow Friends, which also goes to support the foundation.

York Reginal Police Holiday Hero

Every year, the York Region police collect donations, both monetary and toys to provide for those in need. For over 25 years, they have raised over $2 million in donations. The goal is to continue contributing in any way they can, to create an inclusive community where every one has a present to open during the holidays.

From all of us at Sunny Communities, we wish you a very happy holidays and the best for the new year.