In Lowertown, the Patro d’Ottawa has a long and rich history of offering activities for residents of the area of all age groups and covering a wide range of interests. Whether it is sports, board games, discussion groups or courses, there is something for everyone at the Patro d’Ottawa. This holiday period, you can drop by for its holiday-specific programming. For more information, please visit www.patro-ottawa.com.
Over the holiday season it is important to remember that not all families have access to basic necessities. The Partage Vanier Food Bank, located at 161 Marier Ave., offers baskets of food and necessities for people who are in need in the Vanier community. If you would like to donate some non-perishable food or, even, some of your time, the food bank is always looking for a helping hand. You can visit their website www.cscvanier.com/en/community/support/partage-vanier for more information on their services. Thank you to all volunteers who are involved.
Located on Waller St., the Ottawa Mission offers warm food, warm beds, warm clothing, and a warm welcome to those who might be in need this holiday season. For many, seeing that someone is volunteering their time in order to help make theirs a bit better is the best present. If you would like to inquire on how you can help the Mission, please visit their website at www.ottawamission.com.
There are many in our community who must rely on food banks for help getting through this holiday season. Thanks to the great work of the Ottawa Food Bank, a city-wide service with multiple drop-off points, including a mobile soup kitchen, many in our community won’t go hungry this holiday season. For more information on how you can receive or offer help, visit www.ottawafoodbank.ca.
The St. Joe’s Women’s Centre on Laurier Ave. in Sandy Hill provides a daytime shelter for Ottawa’s homeless women. Offered all year-long, the shelter’s impact is felt even more during the cold holiday period. For more information on the many ways that you can assist the St Joe’s Women’s Centre, you can visit their website at www.stjoeswomenscentre.org.
Centrally located in Vanier, the Wabano Centre is an Indigenous health centre that covers a wide range of medical clinics, social services and support, and youth programs for Ottawa’s 40,000 Indigenous people. Health services incorporate the teachings, culture, and traditions of Indigenous people. You can read more on the services offered and how you can help at www.wabano.com.
St. Mary’s Home helps to keep the Christmas spirit alive for some families in our community who might need help this holiday season. It offers a wide-range of social services to pregnant women, young mothers and fathers with the goal of fostering a healthy family life. Like all non-profit organizations, St. Mary’s solicits donations and volunteering help. Their website www.stmaryshome.com details the ways in which you can lend a hand.
The Shepherds of Good Hope, located in the Byward Market, is one of the largest non-profit organizations in Ottawa dedicated to the city’s homeless. Some of the services that are offered are a clothing drop, a soup kitchen, as well as a large shelter for some of our city’s most vulnerable. The need is even greater around Christmas time. More information is available at www.shepherdsofgoodhope.com.
As we are moving closer to Christmas, the Vanier Community Service Centre ensures that our community’s less privileged can also take part in the Christmas gift-giving tradition with the Christmas Caring and Sharing Exchange Program, a gift donation program for children in the community. If you would like more information on this great initiative, please visit www.cscvanier.com.
If you are looking to donate a snowsuit this winter, the Snowsuit Fund is gladly accepting donations. For the past thirty years, this great initiative aims to keep underprivileged kids warm during our Canadian winters. Their drop-off centre is located at the Hardini Centre at 225 Donald Street Unit 134 in Ottawa. For more information, please visit www.snowsuitfund.com.
This year, CTV and the Salvation Army have partnered for the 2017 Toy Mountain campaign that offers toys to children from 0 to 12 years old. If you would like to make a donation, simply purchase and donate an unwrapped toy. You can also volunteer in the warehouse to help sort out toys. More information on ways you can help is available at www.ottawa.ctvnews.ca/community/toy-mountain.
Since 1976, the Maison d’amitié offers assistance, protection and shelter to women who are victims of domestic abuse and their children. For more information on how you can help la Maison d’amitié by making a donation or by volunteering at its 40 Cobourg St. location, please visit their website at www.maisondamitie.ca.
No one should be spending the holiday season alone. The Centre Espoir Sophie is a francophone center that promotes female empowerment. Its dedicated staff ensures that vulnerable women receive all the care they need so they are all able to make it through difficult times, with a special emphasis on building skills of autonomy and self-worth. You can consult the many services they offer at www.centreespoirsophie.ca, and can also receive more information on ways that you can help.