OTTAWA -- With two weeks to go before Christmas several local charities are in need of donations to make sure every family has access to holiday meals or gifts.

Caring and Sharing Exchange

The Caring and Sharing Exchange is one holiday program that ensures families who may be struggling this time of year have access to a festive holiday meal. This year organizers say more than 2,500 families are still waiting for assistance.

“The amount of people turning to us for relief this year has been overwhelming,” says Cindy, Executive Director of the Caring and Sharing Exchange. “So far, we have been able to guarantee assistance for three quarters of those on our list. Although we are working tirelessly to ensure that no one requesting our help goes without this Christmas.

The program creates food hampers made up of traditional holiday favourites like turkey, stuffing, vegetables, cookies and hot chocolate. This year nearly 20,000 individuals requested assistance.

Organizers are hoping to fundraise enough to supply the remaining 2,500 people with hampers.

The next fundraising event “Running on Empties” is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14. Community members are asked to return their empty bottles to local Beer Stores. 

You can learn about other ways to give here:

Ottawa Mission Feed the Hungry

The Ottawa Mission is in the process of planning its annual Christmas Dinner where it provides between 2,000 – 3,000 meals.

In order to feed everyone a Christmas dinner the Ottawa Mission says it needs to collect at least 100 large turkeys. With days to go before preparing the biggest holiday dinner in the capital organizers are calling on the community to help with frozen turkey donations.

“In the kitchen preparations are underway what is going to be a fantastic feast that we’re going to put on for perhaps close to 3,000 people,” said Peter Tilley, the Executive Director for the Ottawa Mission.

The Ottawa Mission dinner is served on December 22nd.

More information on how to donate can be found here: Ottawa Mission 

Ottawa Toy Mountain

Ottawa Toy Mountain through CTV and the Salvation Army is in need of toys that will go to families struggling to make ends meet in the Ottawa region.

This year organizers are putting out an urgent appeal for toys for children up to two-years-old. There is also an appeal for toys for boys and girls who are between eight and 12-years-old.

Parents who are still in need of toys for their children can call 2-1-1 and will be directed to one of the city’s Community Resources Centres.

Last year over 25,000 children throughout the Ottawa Region were helped through the CTV Toy Mountain Campaign. 

More information can be found here: Toy Mountain.

Ottawa Christmas Kettle Campaign

The Salvation Army has launched its 2019 Christmas Kettle Campaign with a fundraising goal of $550,000, to meet the needs of families in the capital over the holidays.

50 red Christmas Kettles are set up at shopping centres and stores throughout the region and will stay there until December 24th.

Organizers say the funds raised during this campaign will be divided between programs in the community that benefit thousands of people in need.

The campaign also supports The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services program, which offers food, water and clothing for displaced individuals.

 “We are so grateful to this very generous community helping to support our neighbours in need,” said Area Director of Public Relations Glenn van Gulik, “Funds raised through the campaign stay local and help individuals and families at Christmas and all throughout the year.”

Donations can be made here: