The holiday season is filled with festivity, lights, gifts and cheer; and spirits are lifted by goodwill and joyful celebration.
Yet while the holidays are a time of general joviality, they are more importantly a time to give thanks and share—to remember that while every day of the year is a chance to help others, the cold days of December are when many need a little extra warmth in their lives.
To spread goodwill and holiday cheer, Scouting Groups across Canada are giving back to the community:
169th Glen Allan Cubs
On December 16, 169th Glen Allan Cubs Evan Jaguary and Josh Bosters will be leading their Pack’s first annual Warm Us Up campaign in Edmonton, Alberta. Collecting donations of warm winter clothing for the community, the Pack is aiming to fill their Scout trailer with items for the Coats for Kids and Family organization.
“It was fun doing the planning and research, and seeing how helpful people were by sharing information about the campaign,” Cub Scout Evan reflects.
When asked why this campaign is important for the community, Cub Scout Josh jumped in to explain, “People who can’t afford clothing to stay warm can now have a place to go to that can help.”
In addition to providing hot chocolate, the Pack will also host a ‘guest’ from the North Pole.
Warm Us Up Information:
Date: December 16, 2017
Drop-Off Location: Glen Allan School parking lot
Jaxon’s Animal Christmas
Youth-led action is a foundational pillar in the Scouts Canada program, and this initiative is especially visible in Beaver Scout Jaxon’s Animal Christmas project. As an avid animal lover, Jaxon decided that for the holiday season, he wanted to share Christmas cheer with animals that have no home or family.
“Some animals don’t have anyone to love and care for them, so I wanted to feed them and give them toys for Christmas so that they can have fun and know that I care for them,” Jaxon explains.
Coming up with the idea for the project, designing the logo and arranging a partnership with Upper Credit Humane Society, Jaxon is leading the 4th Georgetown Colony B’s Animal Christmas fundraiser. Using a wish list provided by the animal shelter, the Colony is collecting items and funds in person and through Go Fund Me. At the end of the month-long campaign, Jaxon will giftwrap the items and deliver them to the animals in person.
As a White Tail Beaver, Jaxon has taken on more leadership opportunities in his Colony, and enjoys Scouting as a fun way to try new things. “I have learned about how fundraisers work and I have learned how much work it’s going to take for me to take care of every animal in the world,” he reflects.
When asked what he is most looking forward to with his Animal Christmas project, Jaxon answers, “Seeing the animals play with their toys and get taken care of.”
To learn more about Jaxon’s Animal Christmas, visit his Go Fund Me page.
6th Dundas Venturer Company
For a second year in a row, Nathan St. John has led his 6th Dundas Company in organizing a toy drive to support Wesley Urban Ministries in Hamilton, Ontario.
Providing a space packed with gifts, a grocery store and non-perishable food items, Wesley’s Christmas & Holiday Store provides families facing economic barriers with holiday supplies. Instead of using money, shoppers use redeemable points to receive new gifts and food items.
Aligned with the Company’s sponsor, St. Mark’s United Church, the Venturers are collecting donation boxes from the community to contribute to Wesley’s store. Creating and distributing informational flyers for parents, speaking to other Scouting Sections and encouraging them to contribute, as well as speaking to the St. Mark’s congregation, the Venturers have been leading all organizational elements of their toy drive. Nathan has also made arrangements with his student council to have donation boxes set up in his high school.
Thanks to the contribution and efforts of the 6th Dundas Company’s toy drive, families living in need within the Hamilton area will have a very merry holiday season.
6th Erin Mills Group
Each year during the holiday season, a handful of Scouting Groups in the Mississauga area gather to deliver Santa Claus boxes to children and youth in the area that come from homes facing financial barriers.
From Beavers to Venturers, 6th Erin Mills youth come together to deliver these gift boxes to the community, either as a Section or separately with their family. “The situations and stories we hear when swapping stories after a delivery are often heartwarming, sad, inspiring and always eye-opening,” shares Scouter Kevin Sakamoto.
By delivering Santa Claus boxes, Scouting youth can see what life is like for families living without economic opportunity, instilling in the youth an understanding of the importance in giving back to the community.
The Mississauga News Santa Claus Fund, adjunct to the Toronto Star Santa Claus fund has raised $945,570 so far of its $1,700,000 goal, and this year Scouting youth in Mississauga will deliver 2,200 gift boxes to local families.
Complete list of participating Scouting Groups and assisting Girl Guide sections:
1st Streetsville, 1st Mississauga, Meadowvale (3rd, 5th,6th), 1st Homelands, 1st Sandalwood, 4th Erindale, 6th Erin Mills, 1st Applewood , 4th Clarkson, 1st Forest Glen, Port Credit (1st, 4th).
Girl Guides: 1st Mississauga Rangers, 163 Pathfinders
1st Carp Group
Generosity of time and resources are quite common among Scouting activities, particularly around the holiday season, and the 1st Carp Group is certainly no exception!
For the past ten years, the Colony, Pack and Troop have worked to collect hundreds in cash donations, along with roughly 1 ton of food contributions—that’s about the same amount of 10 pickup beds!
“I love collecting food for the food bank—I feel like I am giving to the community,” says one youth from the Group. “I have lots of fun getting the cans and boxes,” added another Scout.
Collecting for the West Carleton Food Access Centre, the Group gathers contributions from approximately 600 households, a number that continues to grow annually.
It truly takes a community to make a food drive wildly successful, and the 1st Carp’s partners have offered reliable help through the years. The Huntley Centennial Public School distributes bags for collection and flyers prior to the food drive launch, while St. James Anglican Church receives the food and handles packaging and delivery. Thanks to help from local Girl Guides, the food drive achieves an even greater reach, with lunch supplied by St. Paul’s United Church to keep energy up.
To join the drive, which will take place on December 9, or to learn how to get involved next year, contact Mary Braun and Sharon Roper: WCfoodaid@gmail.com.