Written by Gemma Cocomello on 05.12.16

As the end of another year is rapidly approaching, it’s the perfect time for us to not only reflect on ourselves, but take some time to think about others as well. What we sometimes take for granted can mean to world to someone else. The holidays can be an exceptionally challenging time for many and there’s no better way to experience the true meaning of the season than brightening up the lives of others. Here are just a few places right here in Montreal that are giving back and doing great things for those who can use some extra holiday magic. Do not hesitate to help out and get involved in any way you can! You’ll get the ultimate return: knowing that you made someone else’s holiday all that more special and meaningful.

Somwhr Toy Drive


Where: Somewhr Liquor Lounge
When: December 15th – 17th, 2016

One of Old Montreal’s most popular late night hangouts, Somewhr Liquor Lounge, is also a big name with charity and giving back. In collaboration with the Saint-Justine Foundation, they will be having a 3-day toy drive this December. You can stop by for a drink and make a donation that’s sure to put a smile on a child’s face (no toys made up of fabric please). All donations will be delivered to the children at the Saint-Justine Hospital on the morning of Christmas Eve.

Blankets for the Homeless


Where: Parc Emilie Gamelin
When: December 18th, 2016 (Monthly gatherings the last Sunday of each month during winter)

We can’t ignore the fact that many Montrealers are unfortunately homeless and without proper food and shelter during the bitter cold months. Blankets for the Homeless is an organization that brings awareness to our oft ignored homeless community. This great group gathers each month where many volunteers give their time to help out those seeing some tough times. The gatherings are outside so we strongly recommend dressing warmly. Whether it’s donating clothing or preparing food, just being there to witness all the gratitude will warm up anyone’s day.

The Montreal Shoebox Project


Where: Various locations, click here to see drop off points
When: October 11th – December 10th, 2016

An organization that really speaks for women, The Montreal Shoebox Project for shelters collects and distributes gifts to homeless or at-risk homeless women in the form of shoeboxes all over Canada and the U.S. Every shoebox is filled with $50 worth of items that will no doubt make any woman feel as special as she truly is. This fabulous project was founded in 2011 by four sister-in-laws and has been growing every since. During their first year, they delivered over 400 shoeboxes in Toronto alone. Last year, the number skyrocketed to 25,000 in 135 communities! We’re so proud to have the Shoebox Project right here in Montreal giving women not only the gifts of warmth and kindness, but of confidence as well.

Southside Café & Terrasse Toy & Food Drive


Where: Café Southside
When: December 18th, 2016 (from 10am to 5pm)

Located right in the heart of Saint-Leonard, Café Southside’s annual Toy & Food Drive is back this year to do their part in giving back during the holidays. Back for its 8th edition, this event gets bigger and better each year. Drop by with your donations of toys and non-perishable items and enjoy good food and coffee that will be served throughout the whole day. All donations collected that day will be donated to the Welcome Hall Mission. There will also be raffle prizes to be won and as an added bonus, attendees will be entertained by Montreal’s famed Nonna Maria. A sure way to lighten up your day while you do the same for others.

The Big Media Food Drive


Where: Click here to view the various locations
When: December 8th, 2016

The Big Media Food Drive is back this year for its 16th edition on December 8th. Many members of the media as well as volunteers get together to collect cash donations and non-perishable items for the less fortunate. Collection sites are all over Quebec and the Big Media Food Drive works with many great partners to make this event into the wonderful local success story that it truly is. Check out their website to know how you can make your donation and to find a collection site near you.

2ND Annual Christmas Comedy Show


Where: Complexe le Baron
When: December 9th, 2016

This is a great way to give back while at the same time have a fun night out! Montreal comedian Tony Riccio (also known as Heavy-T) is bringing back his 2nd annual Christmas Comedy Show at Complexe le Baron in Saint-Leonard. Riccio has been running his own successful comedy room at le Baron for almost 2 years now. His room fills up with hundreds of guests who come to see talented comedians onstage and enjoy a tasty meal for a great price. The special show on December 9th will have a talented line-up that includes: Rodney Ramsey, Massimo, Gino Durante, and Jack Dani. Tickets are $40 and include a full buffet as well as a convenient indoor parking lot. Guests who bring toys will receive a complimentary drink. Riccio will deliver toys collected that evening to children at the Saint-Justine and Montreal Children’s Hospital. For tickets, call (514) 688-3646 or visit their Facebook page.

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