’Tis the season of twinkle lights, family time and eating copious amounts of shortbread. It’s also the season for vast consumerism and simultaneous generosity. If you’re looking for ways to give back this year, there are plenty of ways to do it right here in Brampton. Here are 10 ways to get into the true spirit of the season and give to those in need in our community.

1. Donate gently used clothing

Consider taking that extra winter jacket taking up space in your closet and donating to Regeneration Outreach. Donations of gently used clothing are graciously accepted.

2. Sponsor a family

Through the Knight’s Table or North Bramalea United Church’s (NBUC) “Caring and Sharing” program, you can give a family a Christmas through gifts, food, and gift cards.

3. Fill a stocking

Through New Life Community Church, you can fill a stocking for a homeless youth in Brampton. Imagine the difference you can make in someone’s life.

4. Collect and donate non-perishable food

Are you having guests over this season? Or need a theme for a holiday work party? Have everyone bring a non-perishable food item, personal care items or diapers. Regeneration Outreach or Knight’s Table will be very helpful in making sure that these items get to the people who need it most.

5. Donate toys

Toys for Tots locations are available throughout the city. Purchase a new, unwrapped toy and drop it off at a location near you.

6. Support a senior

Visit BeaSantatoaSenior.ca to find out how you can help seniors in our community feel cared for and less lonely this year.

7. Buy a gift card

Tomorrow, when buying your morning coffee at Tim Horton’s, consider picking up a few extra $5 gift cards. You can give these out the next time you see someone who needs a hand up, or drop them off at Regeneration Outreach.

8. Make a donation

Short on time? Make a financial donation to a local organization to support the people in Brampton. Knight’s Table, Regeneration Outreach, Salvation Army and so many more organizations close to home are ready to help those who need it and can make the most of your donated funds.

9. Help someone stay warm

Next time you are out, pick up a few extra sets of mittens, hats or warm socks. You can donate them to Regeneration Outreach, Salvation Army or NBUC, or even give them directly to someone who needs them.

10. Volunteer your time

If you have some time to give, consider contacting Salvation Army to learn more about different opportunities to support others. All skill sets are needed.

Get creative! There are lots of ways to help those in Brampton and many who need that support. There are no generous acts too big or too small.

Note – there are many really good charities and projects in which you can participate around the world; these are just some of the opportunities close to home.