‘Tis the season for lights, love and giving. The holiday season and colder weather are here and there’s no better time to lend a helping hand to those who need it. From volunteers and gift cards to toys, toiletries and sweaters, there are several Calgary organizations looking for support on Giving Tuesday (November 28th) and ahead of this winter.

Of course, if you’re not sure where to start, here are just a few accepting donations right now.

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Alpha House

Offering housing, detox and outreach programs, the Alpha House is committed to helping a marginalized population addicted to alcohol or drugs and are (or are at risk of) living on the streets of Calgary.

How to help: Donate, apply to be a volunteer, or gift something from their wishlist which includes: 

  • Clothing (Men and Women): jeans, hoodies, t-shirts, pyjamas, athletic pants, sweatpants, socks and underwear
  • Footwear (Men and Women): runners, sneakers, boots.
  • Jackets (winter season; all genders and all sizes)
  • Toques, gloves/mitts, scarves and backpacks
  • Towels and facecloths
  • Personal Care Items: lip balm, shampoo, soap, pads, tampons, toothbrushes, deodorant
  • Bus tickets
  • Arts and crafts items: drawing pens/pencils, puzzles, drawing paper, beading products and colouring books
  • Recovery books and daily inspiration book
  • Bottled Water
  • Chewing gum
  • Gift Cards
  • Food and other gift cards (Walmart, Marks Work Warehouse…etc.)
  • Event tickets (e.g. movie passes, museum tickets)
  • Telephone cards (minutes)
  • Chocolates/Candy

To see the entire list visit website here.

Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society

“Nurturing families living in peace,” the Awo Taan women’s shelter provides services to Calgarians in need. Guided by Aboriginal traditional teachings, this organization focuses on prevention, intervention and healing for those affected by abuse.

How to help: Donate (once/monthly) or apply to be a volunteer 

Calgary Humane Society 

Putting the well-being of Animals first, the Calgary Human Society is more than just a shelter. Not only do they help find the perfect home for all their furry residents they also provide education, outreach, behaviour training and emergency vet services to those in need.

How to help:  Donate, apply to be a volunteer/foster, or gift something from their wishlist which includes:

  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Flat Sheets
  • Animal Beds
  • Unexpired and unopened Animal Food (new)
  • Animal Treats (new)
  • Cat Litter (new)
  • Animal Toys (new)

Children’s Cottage Society

Dedicated to building “strong healthy children and safe nurturing families,” Children’s Cottage Society offers a variety of prevention programs and support services to those who need them.

How to help: Donate, apply to be a volunteer, or gift something from their wishlist which includes:

  • mittens, sleepers, baby socks, sun hats, bottles, diapers and pull-ups (all sizes)
  • boys’ and girls’ clothing, winter gear and underwear, sizes 3-6
  • toiletries
  • sheets
  • brooms and dustpans
  • laundry baskets
  • HE laundry detergent, liquid or pods
  • dryer sheets
  • kitchen cleaning supplies and solutions
  • backpacks (preschool to 12)
  • reusable lunch bags and water bottles
  • Gift cards
  • toys
  • gift cards
  • baby food, fruit and vegetable puree
  • canned soups
  • condiments
  • cooking oil
  • pasta
  • drinks (juice, coffee and tea)
  • kids school snacks

To see the entire list visit website here.

Calgary Drop-In Centre

Providing low-barrier access to vulnerable adults experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the Calgary Drop-In Centre offers housing and a variety of programs including health, recovery and addiction support, as well as free goods.

How to help: Donate (all donations up to $200k will be matched dollar for dollar on Giving Tuesday), apply to be a volunteer or gift something from their wishlist which includes:

  • razors
  • shaving cream
  • cotton swabs
  • earplugs
  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste (mini)
  • tampons
  • combs
  • brushes
  • towels
  • underwear (new)
  • Advil
  • Tylenol
  • lip chap
  • hand warmers
  • bottled water
  • water bottles
  • disposable cups
  • reusable coffee mugs
  • Calgary Transit tickets
  • $10 Tim Horton gift cards
  • grocery store gift cards

To see the entire list visit website here.

Calgary Women’s Shelter

Focused on ending family violence and abuse in the lives of women, children, youth and men, the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter provides essential items such as clothing, underwear and toiletries to those who flee quickly. They also help support people with a number of safety, healing and prevention programs.

How to help: Donate, apply to be a volunteer, or gift something from their wishlist which includes:

  • gift cards
  • body wash and lotion
  • baby bottles
  • 4-5 T Pull Ups
  • crib sheets
  • hair brushes
  • loofahs
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • deodorant
  • razors
  • sippy cups
  • women’s underwear in size medium
  • women’s leggings in all sizes
  • boys 12-24 months clothing
  • girls 6-9 years clothing
  • boys 6-9 years clothing
  • girls 10-12 clothing

To see the entire list visit website here.

Inn From the Cold

Established over 25 years ago, Inn From the Cold helps families overcome the obstacles that can lead to homelessness. Offering shelter, prevention and diversion programs, the organization works closely with each family to create a personalized plan that helps them build the skills necessary for long-term stability, well-being, and resilience.

How to help: Donate or apply to be a volunteer



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A post shared by Alberta Animal Rescue Crew (@aarcs)

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) is an animal welfare organization that helps, loves and houses homeless animals across Alberta. In addition, they provide community support programs to address the root causes of animal overpopulation and homelessness.

How to help: Donate, apply to be a volunteer/foster, or gift something from their wishlist which includes:

  • Pate Cat Food (urgent)
  • Clumping Litter (urgent)
  • Dog Enrichment Toys (urgent)
  • Opened / Unopened Pet Food – please tape securely shut prior to drop off. RAW NOT ACCEPTED
  • Durable Pet Toys
  • Veterinary Medical Supplies (no human medical supplies please) *Expired not accepted
  • Pet Beds + Dishes
  • Plastic/Hard-sided Kennels (all sizes)
  • Leashes/Collars
  • Clean Litterboxes
  • Brushes
  • Temptations Cat Treats
  • Pet Safe Easy Walk Harnesses (M/L/XL)
  • Slip Leads
  • Plastic/Hard-sided Kennels (all sizes)
  • XL Kongs/Interactive/durable Toys for Dogs and Cats
  • Bully Sticks or other Long-Lasting Chews (no rawhides)
  • Clean Towels and Linens
  • Heavy-Duty Exterior Zip ties (6″-8″)
  • Kitten Milk Replacer
  • Adult Rabbit Pellets (Oxbow)
  • Rabbit Treats and Chews
  • Timothy Hay
  • Hand Soap (Large Refills)

To see the entire list visit website here.

The Mustard Seed

Caring for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty since 1984, The Mustard Seed is described as a ‘supportive haven’ that provides basic needs, health and wellness, housing, employment, spiritual care and community engagement to those in need.

How to help: Donate (all donations will be matched on Giving Tuesday), apply to be a volunteer, or gift something from their wishlist which includes:

  • Backpacks (urgent)
  • Shampoo (urgent)
  • Lotion (urgent)
  • Deodorant (urgent)
  • Razors (urgent)
  • Winter Items (coats, gloves, toques, long underwear, hand warmers)
  •  Men’s Small Size Clothing
  •  Socks and Underwear (new only)
  •  Jogging Pants
  •  Men’s Jeans & Cords (sizes 28 – 32)
  • Conditioner and Toothpaste (travel size preferred)
  •  Tissues (travel size)
  •  Lip Balm
  •  Hairbrushes
  •  Sleep Masks
  •  Ear Plugs
  •  Nail Clippers
  • Foot Powder
  • Steel-toed work boots (sizes 9-12)
  •  Hard Hats
  •  Construction Pants
  •  Safety Glasses
  • Gently used Tools (hammers, pliers, measuring tape, tool belt, chalk line)

To see the entire list visit website here.

And there you have it, Calgary. These Calgary organizations looking for help this Giving Tuesday and throughout the winter.

Happy holidays!