The Christmas Sharing Program is a Canadian registered charity governed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of a cross-section of community-minded individuals. We rely on the generosity of the local community and do not receive any government funding. Donations of $20 or more are tax-deductible. Funds have also traditionally been generated by a sponsored walk along the Belleville waterfront in September, a turkey bingo in December, various choral concerts and many speaking engagements and interviews throughout the season. The Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed many of these activities.
The area covered by the Program are within the following boundaries: the City of Belleville, including Thurlow Township as far east as Shannonville and not including the Tyendinaga Territory; as far west as White’s Road and south to Ameliasburg Township. All low-income individuals and families residing within these boundaries are encouraged to apply for assistance. Anyone wishing to apply from outside these boundaries will be referred to the appropriate program in their home community.
Early in September we launch the annual fund-raising campaign. Letters of appeal are mailed to community groups, schools, churches and individuals who have supported the Christmas Sharing Program in the past. Meetings are held with other agencies and programs so that supports can be coordinated throughout the community.
In October our volunteers begin the process of registering families and individuals for the Program by going out to take applications at social housing complexes and the food bank. Qualifying families will be eligible for a food basket and or a grocery gift card equivalent. In addition, children 10 and under will be referred to the Firefighters Toy Drive. Individuals who apply will be eligible for a grocery gift card. As well, we are partnering once again with the Community Cares Holiday Meal Program to offer the delivery of a frozen dinner just before Christmas day to shut-in’s, persons with health or mobility issues or those alone on Christmas.
The on-line registration form on this website goes live on November 1st and ends on November 30th. Volunteers will also be taking applications for walk-ins at the office in Century Village during week days in the month of November from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Social distancing, wearing a mask and other health and safety provisions may be in place for those coming to visit the office. Please note only one person per household will be able to enter the office.
Volunteers and staff will strive to protect the privacy and confidentiality of applicants’ information with sensitivity and respect while protecting the integrity of the Program.
Registration ends on the last business day of November and the task of matching families with our many community sponsors begins. Lists of those eligible for the Toy Drive and Community Cares Holiday Meal Program are provided to the relevant contacts and volunteers are recruited to assist with the delivery of the frozen dinners prior to Christmas day.
Usually there are more volunteers than positions to fill – another indication of the generosity of the local community. The delivery of food boxes and pick-up of grocery gift cards and toys occurs a few days before the big day, wrapping up another busy season for the Program.
Our volunteers are endlessly compassionate and generous. They come from a variety of backgrounds with the common goal of helping those in their community. The Christmas Sharing Program would be unable to function without their loyal support. Please check out the rest of our website to find out how you can help or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Christmas Sharing Program depends entirely on Donations from the community. We do not get any funding from any other source. To find out how you can support the program click the link below to be directed to our donation page.