I remember as a child, my mother used to ask us to put our outgrown clothing, books and toys into a big cardboard box just before Christmas. She signed up for many years to help out a family in need in our community, and she always made sure that that box, was overflowing when it left our house.
Since having my own children I have tried to instill in them the same virtues about giving throughout the year. We give food to the local Food Bank, we drop off our outgrown clothes at the Salvation Army, and we continually support all of the initiatives that my childrens' school takes on. In recent years though, I have noticed that most charities only ask for "new unwrapped" items, and I have always wondered - "what's wrong with gently used belongings"? Would those that have only very little, not appreciate something previously loved if it was wrapped and decorated for the holidays? And would we not be helping our environment by placing less waste at the curb each week?
Every year before Christmas I try and find a charity that will take gently used items, as well as "new and unwrapped". Thus honouring the tradition that my parents instilled in me. However, year after year all I find is the latter of the two. This year however, I came across an article on an organization which is doing just the opposite.
"Project Warmth" is a non-profit group located in Toronto, Ontario which gives back to the community, by providing beautiful baskets full of gently used items donated by families like yours and mine. These baskets are distributed at the June Callwood Centre (for young mothers and their babies), and to local women's shelters during the holiday season. This Toronto organization began with one woman, Alison Doyle, who wanted to help out during the holidays, and decided to create these wonderful baskets for those in need.
Cole House Design is thinking about opening a Georgetown chapter of "Project Warmth" for next year's holiday season, to help those less fortunate in the Halton Region. If you would like more information on Project Warmth and how you can help this year or next, contact Nicole through her website at www.colehousedesign.com.
Thanks for reading!
Nicole Hurst - (President)
Cole House Design