When it comes to supporting your local community, volunteering your time can be a great way to give back and make all the difference.

Every year, Union Gospel Mission donates Christmas hampers to low-income families and provides them with gifts, clothing, retail gift cards and essential household items. This year, they are donating over 260 hampers to families in the community, and our team was honoured to join their cause. You can watch the full video on our experience here.

Photo: Shelves full of toys at UGM.

As volunteers, we were provided with family wish lists and needed to make sure that each holiday hamper has all items and gifts in it, appropriate for each family member. This was a fun experience that felt like shopping for our own family and friends. Items ranged from hygiene products and warm winter clothing to small kitchen appliances, art supplies, books, toys, gift cards and more. The hamper store certainly had no shortage of gifts, making sure that no family members get left behind.

Photo: One of the Christmas gift baskets.

The UGM staff was very welcoming and provided a lot of help with assembling the hampers to make sure each family had everything they needed for a great Christmas. We were especially moved when one of the staff members told us that they used to be on the receiving end of the holiday hamper program, and had experienced first-hand the joys that these gifts can bring.

Volunteering at UGM was a great opportunity to show support on behalf of GMD and be a part of this important initiative helping out families in our community.

If you would like to get involved and show your support, you can donate items at giftsofhope.ugm.ca. To find out about volunteering at the UGM store, email annualgiving@ugm.ca.