Photo © Courtesy of CMHA Toronto
October marked mental health awareness month, and the timing to be made mindful of such challenges is appropriate as we move into the holiday season. Our traditions will look a little different this year, but it will be even more dispiriting for those struggling with their mental health. Not having anyone to share the holidays with can be lonely enough, and the pandemic will only amplify those feelings this season. CMHA Toronto’s annual Holiday Gift Program is partnering with local agencies around the GTA to help those who need it the most during the holiday season.
This year marks the 65th annual Holiday Gift campaign and now, more than ever, CMHA Toronto is working with the communities to ensure those who need a little extra assistance are able to have what they need to have a joyful holiday season. Since 2008, the Holiday Gift Program has been a fundamental component of the holidays for the Scarborough Health Network’s (SHN) Pathways program, giving their service users the opportunity to participate in the holidays, as many of whom do not have family to share the holidays with.
It has been an amazing partnership over the years and has given the clients of the program many wonderful opportunities…It brings a lot of joy to people, and for some, it is the bright spot of their holiday, many of them still talking about the gifts they received years ago.—Nicole Kitchen, Residential Counsellor, SHN
Small acts of kindness can be powerful gestures for those struggling with their mental health. The Holiday Gift Program helps those individuals and their children keep a sense of community and belonging by involving them in the holidays. Your generous support and our community partnerships means you are directly helping women fleeing violence, the homeless, recently arrived immigrants, and other at-risk individuals and families. We will not allow the pandemic to stifle the generosity of the holiday season, so we will be distributing 3,500 gift cards instead of gift packs. Please consider giving, so we can continue to deliver even more gifts to those in need of a little warmth during the holiday season.
For more information and to donate visit: toronto.cmha.ca.
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CMHA Toronto is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental health challenges and their loved ones, as they know that a place to live, meaningful work and a caring community are integral to resilience and recovery.