How to give back and help those facing homelessness this holiday season.

Dec 2019 | Giving Back

The holiday season is a time of family, feasting and festivities for many of us, but not for everyone. There are over 300 people facing homelessness in Nanaimo and even more who are living in extreme poverty. This can be a really hard time of year for some, so we’re asking you to take time over the next few weeks and help make someone’s life a little brighter.

Here are some simple ways to help your community:

Donate new and used items

Drop off small gifts for people living in supportive housing. Items could include socks, gloves, coffee, hot chocolate, mugs, small plants or other items that might bring someone joy. Please wrap them in small gift bags so they can be easily sorted and handed out to the 76 tenants living at Nikao. 

If you have extra dog or cat treats, there are fur friends who live on-site as well.

Contact the staff at Nikao for more information or to bring a donation: 250-616-4250.

The team at the Society for Equity, Inclusion and Advocacy is looking for warm seasonal clothing such as socks, mittens and jackets.

They’re also looking for small kitchen items for their Homes to Homes program: pots, pans, utensils and more.

Contact them directly for more information at or 250-753-0633.

Volunteer your time

Volunteering can be as simple as sitting down for a cup of coffee.  These organizations are looking for community members who can make a commitment to give back by giving their time.

The Society for Equity, Inclusion and Advocacy are always seeking volunteers for their programs. Here’s one opportunity, please contact them for more information:

The Nanaimo Region John Howard Society is looking for community members who would like to have a cup of coffee with someone who has been housed after facing homelessness. Sometimes being housed also means giving up your old social connections and feeling isolated.  Contant the John Howard Society for more information

For more volunteer opportunities, there are many listed on Volunteer Nanaimo

Resources to help you

Do You Need Help?

If you’re looking for mental health support, shelter, addictions treatment, food banks and more, bc211can help.

The HelpSeeker app gives you access to community, health, and social services.