Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year at Mission Services. It can also be a lonely and isolating time for many individuals. That’s why our staff work tirelessly over the holidays to bring some warmth, cheer and much needed support to our neighbours in need.
Our Good Food Centre will be focusing on distributing Holiday Hampers in the month of December. The hampers will include our client’s regular groceries, along with festive ingredients to prepare a holiday meal. Community members will be able to pick up their hampers with food and hygiene items throughout the month, while families with children will set up an appointment to pick-up toys through the Christmas Care program.
The 196 youth and their families will also be receiving Christmas Care packages, and a holiday dinner hosted by staff.
“Last year, we sent home turkey dinner to all the families, it was great, but it’ll be lovelier to have time together in-person,” said Adalia, The 196 Coordinator.
Clients at our Men’s Shelter will have the opportunity to help decorate for the holidays and enjoy a Christmas dinner. Each client staying with us will receive a small gift. “Community members donate items like socks, gloves, handwarmers, snacks, hygiene products, that we can hand out to everybody,” said Catherine, Men’s Shelter Manager.
Clients who have secured safe, permanent housing through our Housing UP! program will receive a gift card to help purchase items for their home.
Living in a shelter over the holidays is not easy but we try to make Christmas as special as possible for the women and children staying at Inasmuch House. Staff and residents decorate the shelter and enjoy a festive meal together, while generous community members ensure gifts are under the tree Christmas morning.
Willow’s Place and Emma’s Place will be hosting a Christmas meal, where participants will receive a gift. Staff will also be offering seasonal activities throughout the month of December giving community members the chance to gather and enjoy the holidays together.
Although Addiction Services does not plan any specific holiday activities, they do offer additional group sessions leading up to Christmas, as the holidays can be a difficult time for some. “We try to offer 2-3 groups per day, so anyone who is in need of support can attend and we open that up to all of our clients,” said Greg, Addiction Services Manager.
As we have learned in the past, we will be prepared to pivot our plans for the safety of our staff and clients if necessary, but hopefully we can make this a special time of year for our most vulnerable neighbours.