It’s the holiday season! It's time to enjoy the crunch of fresh snow, festive lights on neighbourhood houses, and that warm, happy feeling of being home with the family for the holidays.
Here at the Brightspark offices, we celebrate in a number of ways: a couple of potlucks, a bad Christmas sweater day, but nothing is quite as obvious as the plethora of decorations that we put up. In addition to our rather loud choice of décor, we chose to raise funds and goods for the Youth Without Shelter home in Rexdale.
In Toronto, three out of every 100 youth are homeless, and many of them won’t experience that warm, happy feeling at Christmastime. Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is a 50-bed emergency shelter for youth ages 15 – 24.
Every night, their shelter is at capacity with young people who have nowhere else to turn. Often, they’ve been forced out of their homes by abuse. The holidays can be a difficult time for those without family to celebrate with, which is why YWS collects food, new clothing, toiletries and gift cards, and provides a safe, caring environment where youth can celebrate the season.
It felt great to deliver the goods we had collected, and we hope that it makes even a small difference in the lives of the youth living at YWS. If you have the time, take a few minutes and watch this video about YWS and their remarkable programs, or visit them online.
On behalf of the whole Brightspark family, Happy Holidays!
*This article was updated in 2019 and originally published in 2013.