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Christmas Exchange Program


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Christmas Program E

The Christmas Exchange Program has a long history as the first direct-assistance program provided by the Caring and Sharing Exchange.
Born in 1915 under the Ottawa Welfare Bureau, the Christmas Exchange assistance program provides those in need with food hampers or much-  needed  redeemable gift certificates during the holiday season, providing recipients with a sense of hope and dignity during an otherwise difficult time of year.
If you want to put your personal touch on Christmas giving this year, consider becoming a Christmas hamper sponsor, and bring a warm festive meal directly to someone in need!  To learn more or to register as a hamper sponsor today, CLICK HERE.

Words of Gratitude From Those You Have Helped


"I am writing to thank you for the help I received this December.  I live in a seniors' apartment and the majority of us are struggling to stretch our low incomes to cover food and necessitiies.  This much needed and greatly appreciated gift will definitetly help.

When I received my food hamper, I was so excited, I was like a kid opening a box.  The hamper was truly the high point of my whole winter season and the only time this year that I was unable to enjoy turkey.

I am aware how difficult it has been over the past 22 months of the pandemic, for organizations such as yours to effectively fundraise.  Please extend my heartfelt gratitude to your generous donors.   Thank you for your kindness and caring."

- Christmas Exchange Recipient


"I am deeply humbled and grateful for this gift of food security that your program is assisting us with and the many donations that make it possible. My kids are teenagers now but there is always that instinct to provide at least shelter and food security. When I was able to work, I could at least manage that. 

It has been getting quite hard to do as the cost of everything goes up. It sometimes becomes a choice between paying rent or paying for groceries. We go without the extras these days.

Thank you and all the donors who make it possible to help feed the families of the communities that are currently facing very challenging times. 

Your generosity in time and money is greatly appreciated. May you continue to shine…”

-  Christmas Exchange Recipient

As you can see, just knowing that there are people like you who care makes a big difference in the lives of our recipients. 

The Christmas Exchange - By The Numbers

Christmas Exchange Program 2023 2022 2021
Total number of people who requested assistance through the Christmas Exchange program 26,921 23,068 19,393
Total number of people helped through the Christmas Exchange Program 26,921 23,068 19,393
Number of Families helped by C&SE (Households) 8,889 7,473 6,307
Number of Seniors helped by C&SE 3,736 3,068 2,626
Number of Children helped by C&SE (under 18 years of age1) 11,853 10,200 8,844
Number of duplicates found for food assistance 1,429 1,268 1,024
Community savings from processing duplicates2 $142,900 $126,800 $102,400

1. This does not include parents under 18 years of age.
2. Based on the average gift to families of $100 from a survey of all helping agencies.

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© 2023 The Caring and Sharing Exchange