Tag Archive: helping

  1. Planning for the Holidays

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    It’s that crazy time of year! The cold weather and December brings a busy time for us all and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got some holiday plans on your schedule too.  I’m tired just thinking about all that’s going on before we kick off the new year.

    What do the holidays mean to you?  Is it about family and celebration?  Or maybe a time to reflect on your past year and what is to come?  The holidays can be different for every person.

    But, the holidays can be harder for some people than others.  Sometimes they can be much harder than they were just the year before.

    Meet Penny.

    Penny has two daughters aged 7 and 11.  As a single mom, she works full time while her daughters go to school and take dance classes.

    Everything was going well until the unexpected happened.

    All of a sudden, Penny was also needed to be caregiver to her two elderly and sick grandparents.  She had not planned for this kind of bump in the road.

    We’ve all had those times where something unexpected has happened.  Luckily for some people there is financial support or family to fall back on during those times.  Others, like Penny find themselves trapped.

    “I didn’t know what to do.  I’ve always been a planner but I didn’t know how I was going to plan my way through this,” Penny says of the experience, “All of a sudden I had to take care of the whole family – not just myself and the girls.”

    With her family depending on her, she knew that she needed outside help.  She wouldn’t have time or money to take care of everything – especially during this time of year.

    That’s when Penny ended up at the food bank.

    Between the hamper that she receives every other week from her local food bank, store sales and coupon clipping; Penny has found a way to ensure that everyone in her family is able to eat nutritious meals each day.

    “If not for the food bank, there’s no way I would be able to feed my family and give my kids the holiday celebration that they deserve.” Penny says, “The holidays are much harder than usual but I’m glad to know that I can get help – anyone can.”

    Penny has been saving up bit by bit to be able to give her kids gifts and a nice dinner.

    “I want them to have what other kids have, they shouldn’t be left out of a holiday.  Thanks to the help we are getting from the food bank – they don’t have to be.”

    Because of your support during the Winter Food Drive – Penny will be able to serve a healthy holiday meal to her whole family and that is something to celebrate!

    Hunger doesn’t hibernate and we can make a difference for families just like Penny’s!


    Let’s work together for a hunger free holiday!  Help us raise $250,000 and 250,000 lbs. of food for the Winter Food Drive. 

    No one should go without enough food to eat.

  2. The Gift of Kindness

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    At this time of year, it feels like more people are showing that extra bit of kindness towards others!  Here at North York Harvest, I see it every day but more so during the winter months.  There is just so much joy and holiday cheer that people have and they want to share it with those around them.

    Don’t you notice the extra bit of kindness at this time of year?  It’s even the smaller things like holding a door for someone or paying that extra 5 cents they need for their morning coffee.  It can make someone’s day just so much brighter.


    Kindness is powerful. It can completely transform your day and that of people around you.

    Did you know the many advantages of kindness?

    Kindness can relieve stress.  Doing something nice for another person makes you feel good.

    “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~Dalai Lama

    Kindness is contagious.  Remember that big news story a couple of years ago when people were “Paying it Forward” at the coffee shop?  A person would buy the coffee for the next person in line and that pattern continued for the entire day!  A person can’t help but return the favour when a kindness is bestowed upon them!


    “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” ~Amelia Earhart

    Kindness strengthens relationships. When you perform an act of kindness for another there is just a new unspoken bond between the two of you.  When it is a larger act of kindness among many people – such as sponsoring a refugee in need, a group volunteer activity or running a food drive at work – it brings a sense of community between you, your friends, your coworkers and those that benefit from your kindness.

    “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia

    Kindness can make a difference in someone’s life.  You might not know it, but letting another person go ahead of you in line could be the highlight of his or her day, week or even month.  You never know what someone else could be going through.


    “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”  ~Maya Angelou

    There are just so many random ways that you can show a little extra kindness this holiday season.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Visiting a retirement home to spend time with someone who is lonely
    • Purchasing a coffee for a stranger
    • Putting some of your extra change in an expired parking meter
    • Shoveling your neighbour’s driveway
    • Send a thank you letter to your local fire and police departments
    • Compliment someone
    • Take a friend to a movie

    Another easy way to share kindness  is to contribute to our make a donation for people in your city that really need it!  Every month over 16,000 children, parents, seniors and people on their own will come into our programs because they don’t have enough food to eat.

    You can make a difference!