Getting festive with holiday giving

Making a difference in our community is important to the University of Waterloo, and with the holiday season now in tow, Waterloo recognizes this vital and special time of year for giving back. Every December, our students, faculty and staff across several faculties and departments collaborate to support an array of festive initiatives.

Residing in a Canadian city during the winter months can bring about diverse challenges for families in need, such as a lack of warm clothing and appropriate winter gear, or facing the struggle of not having enough food or funds to buy toys for children.

BSW students line up to celebrate clothing drive

Earlier this month, Renison University College students came together to assist many of these deserving people through their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Christmas Drive, calling for socks, mitts, hats, and toiletries for youth experiencing homelessness in our region. By donating all proceeds to local youth shelters, Argus and OneROOF, our students are actively helping to influence positive social change in our community.

"Thanks to the generous support of the Renison and Waterloo community, we were able to provide over 208 items of winter essentials, 535 toiletry items, as well as food, school supplies, and warm clothing to support youth experiencing homelessness this time of year," beamed Renison BSW student organizer, Jessica Vanhevel.

Parking services​UWaterloo Parking Services is doing their part by running their “Gifts for Tickets” program until December 14. Outstanding minor tickets at $25 will be waived with an unwrapped gift donation that will be passed on to Tree of Angels, the Feds Food Bank, or the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. If you don’t have a parking ticket, but want to make your contribution, don’t think twice - head over to Parking Services.

Some more highlights of our annual holiday giving include the Children’s Christmas Project, which has been providing gifts for hundreds of community members for over 20 years. This season, more than 16 departments across the University are supporting 112 families with over 200 children ranging in age from 4 months to 16 years.

For the seventh consecutive year, the University Club is hosting their Giving Tree as a way for our campus community to give back through unwrapped toy donations. Anyone is welcome to contribute and can drop off toys until December 14. Waterloo Unlimited is also packing food hampers for the House of Friendship again this season.

We know these are just some of the great ways members of our University are giving back. What are you doing to make a difference?

We’d love to hear about it! Share your efforts with #UWCommunity.

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