As members of the Edmonton construction community, Cormode & Dickson is dedicated to giving back to the Edmonton community – not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. Recently, however, our increasing unemployment in Alberta has been paired with a sudden, drastic temperature drop, making this season particularly difficult for so many hard working Edmontonians and their families. To make to lend a helping hand during this cold and difficult time, here are some ideas for helping your community:

  1.  Be a Santa to a Senior!

Many aging Edmontonians spend their holidays alone, without family, during the holidays, never mind receiving gifts. “Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profit and community organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts this holiday season. The company then works with local businesses and retail stores to help facilitate the purchase and distribution of gifts by placing trees and ornaments within their various locations. Each senior’s gift requests are written on a Be a Santa to a Senior bulb.” If there are no trees available in your area, consider volunteering your time to collect gifts, wrap gifts, or deliver gifts. Edmonton has two Home Instead Senior Care locations that offer opportunities to engage with and help seniors.

  1. Help the Edmonton Homeless!

Homeward Trust Edmonton is a not for profit organization that works to end homelessness using a community-based approach. They are always looking for volunteers for their many initiatives, most of which focus on funding and coordinating housing developments for homeless families, or those at risk of becoming homeless. You can volunteer to help out with programs and events or you can make financial donations, clothing donations to Homeless Connect (they really need winter wear presently), or furniture donations to Find.

If you’re looking specifically to help Edmonton’s homeless youth and teens consider donating or getting involved with Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS). Youth aged 15-24 use the YESS safe house – many have been kicked out of their homes or abandoned, most have been abused, and many suffer with mental health issues. These kids need your help and YESS offers a lot of ways to get involved from donations through to volunteering.

  1. Be Someone’s Snow Angel

Snow Angels are people helping their communities by removing snow for their neighbours. For the elderly, persons with disabilities or health conditions, and single parents, shoveling can be difficult, even dangerous. Make a difference in your community by shovelling your neighbours walk and driveway. Not only do you help a friend or neighbour, but model what it means to take care of your community. You bring everyone together! Kids can be snow angels too, the City of Edmonton offers a Snow Angels school program and classrooms can win pizza parties! Plus, there’s the added benefit of simply helping your neighbours.

  1. Donate to a Food Bank!

The Edmonton Food Bank’s Hamper Program distributes food to more than 210 agencies, churches, and food depots that provide food services to people in need. Each month almost 20,000 people receive hampers from the Edmonton Food Bank – approximately 40% of recipients are children. The Edmonton Food Bank relies on the generosity of Edmontonians to continue their work. You can donate food or money to the Edmonton Food Bank, in addition to offering assistance as a volunteer.

  1. Donate Toys to Children

630 CHED Santa’s Anonymous was started 1955 with the mission of providing Christmas gifts to children in need. They help people on assistance, but also the working poor: families who find themselves in difficult financial circumstances. What they do together is driven by the support of thousands of volunteers who donate gifts, collect gifts, wrap gifts, and deliver gifts each year. Offering wealth of volunteer opportunities, gifts are always delivered over one weekend before Christmas (December 16 and 17, 2016). Show up to volunteer and deliver these gifts to children in need.

This holiday season, please join Cormode & Dickson in helping make the Edmonton community a better place for everyone.