"The Shoebox Project for Women is a registered charity that collects and distributes gift-filled Shoeboxes to women impacted by homelessness in communities across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. For women who have been displaced from their homes and estranged from their families, special occasions can be particularly challenging. Often, women report feeling disconnected from society, invisible and alone. A Shoebox gift is a powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community."
We have some local folks who are helping to create shoeboxes right here in our region by hosting a Shoebox Party. They've been busy collecting donated items and will gather together this Sunday evening to make the boxes. This seems like a fun and practical way to support women in our community.
If you're not up to hosting your own Shoebox Party, you can still donate items to this great cause. Items they're looking for include hats and mitts, sweet treats, shampoo and more. You can see the list of suggestions here. You can drop off donations to a variety of locations throughout the region until Dec. 6th. Find drop-off locations here. #365ofgoodWR
As we approach December, many of us consider additional ways we can give back to our community. Giving Tuesday, happening Dec. 3rd, encourages us to do exactly that. Community Justice Initiatives, as part of Giving Tuesday, is embarking on a campaign to raise funding and supplies for the Stride program. The Stride Circles program has no guaranteed funding, and relies heavily on community donations, which is why they've targeted their campaign to support that program.
Here's what they're looking for:
Contact staceyc@cjiwrcom for more information. #365ofgoodWR
Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? Or do you wait until at least December? My rule is usually the tree can go up with less than a month til Christmas, so from Nov. 25th on. However, it has not yet made it up. Maybe I'll need to head over to the Uptown Waterloo Tree Lighting on Dec. 2nd to be inspired to do so :) Festivities happen at 7pm in Waterloo Public Square where the tree will be illuminated, music will be playing, and hot chocolate will be provided! Details here. #365ofgoodWR
My co-worker just mentioned to me this past week that this is her favourite time of year - Christmas Bazaar season! She said she loves seeing all the creative things people come up with every year and that she loves supporting these local makers. No doubt my co-worker will be attending this event then and if you're all about Christmas Bazaars too, you'll also want to mark Dec. 7th on your calendar for the KW Habilitation Bazaar. It runs from 10am-2pm at 99 Ottawa St S. The $2 admission gets you in to shop from over 50 tables of local makers! #365ofgoodWR
Just this past weekend I posted about some of the holiday events happening in Kitchener which were a sure sign that winter is just around the corner. Here's another: CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's annual Sounds of the Season event goes live-to-air from THEMUSEUM on Friday, Dec. 6 with The Morning Edition's host Craig Norris.
Much like the scent of pumpkin spice signals the arrival of Halloween, the Sounds of the Season performance rings in the holiday season. "From musical guests to interviews and even a cooking demonstration, you can attend this holiday performance in person, listen on CBC Radio One 89.1 FM or watch online from the comfort of your home." And to top it all off, this event is in support of one of my favourite local organizations, the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. You can make a donation at the event with food, cash, or credit, or online here. #365ofgoodWR
This weekend I headed down to my favourite video store and rented an actual hard copy dvd (as I'm known to do now and then). However, I assume most folks reading this have not walked into a video store for a little while. I mean, why would you? We have a vast array of movies, shows, documentaries and more all with a click of a button on any one of our many devices. However, I like to make the trip to Far Out Flicks for a variety of reasons. First off, I think it really is important to support our local brick and mortar stores. Secondly, renting an actual hard copy dvd offers an opportunity to connect with my community. I had a pleasant conversation with Rolf as we chatted about Bob and Doug Mackenzie as Strange Brew was playing on the tv when I walked in. We laughed about their Christmas album the Great White North that we had both grown up listening to. And picking up and returning the dvd gets me out walking in my neighbourhood, which inevitably leads to more casual conversations with people I run into on the journey. Also, brick and mortar stores offer a level of customer service and knowledge that can be hard to find elsewhere.
What's the point of my little story about renting a dvd from my local video store in the #365ofgoodWR project? I suppose it's just a gentle reminder to look around at the things in your neighbourhood, whether that's a park, or quiet space, or even your local video store (if you're lucky enough to have one!), and take some time to not only appreciate them but actually use them too. #lovemyhood
Over the last year or two, I have become quite interested in how we look at housing and what steps our community can do to make more affordable housing a reality. So I am definitely interested in attending this screening of PUSH at the Princess Twin on Dec. 5th. Here's a bit of information about the film:
"PUSH is a documentary that follows Canadian Lelani Farha UN special rapporteur on the right to housing as she travels the world to figure out who is being pushed out of cities.
Synopsis: Housing prices are skyrocketing in cities around the world. Incomes are not. PUSH sheds light on a new kind of faceless landlord, our increasingly unliveable cities and an escalating crisis that has an effect on us all. This is not gentrification, it’s a different kind of monster. The film follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she’s travelling the globe, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of the city and why. “I believe there’s a huge difference between housing as a commodity and gold as a commodity. Gold is not a human right, housing is,” says Leilani."
After the film, there will be a panel discussion which includes Martine August (University of Waterloo) and Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. Proceeds from this screening will go to ALL IN 2020, a campaign raising awareness and resources to help end chronic homelessness in Waterloo Region.
Now this sounds like a fun event that combines tasty food with great local art! "Five regional artist-run organizations have been working together to promote ‘Local Art for Local Walls'. Their second collaboration is a Festive Art Show & Sale including a special Progressive Festive LAF Art and Food Crawl" It all happens December 5th from 5 to 9 PM at 3 locations. You can visit just one of the locations, or all three. You can also travel to each location individually or join a tour guide and hop on the ION to travel between locations.
"Join ArtsPay along with KWSA, Riverside Print Group, The Art District Gallery, and Uptown Gallery for this festive evening of art and food! A $5 donation at each location is recommended to cover the cost of food." Please rsvp by December 1st to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll admit that winter is not my favourite season...in fact, it likely doesn't fall into my top three seasons ;) However, one thing that does make the winter more enjoyable is getting out and enjoying some of the seasonal offerings. With that in mind, here's a few things on offer through the City of Kitchener (from their website):
Carl Zehr Square Outdoor Rink – Opens Monday, Dec. 2
Sharpen your skates and come downtown to enjoy the outdoor rink in Carl Zehr Square. Enjoy free skating with friends and family, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with city hall and the beautifully decorated Christmas tree as your backdrop. The skating rink is scheduled to be open, weather permitting, on Monday, Dec. 2.
Christkindl Market – Dec. 5 to 8
Christkindl Market is one of Kitchener’s most beloved holiday traditions. It has once again been named as one of the ‘Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario’ and it’s no wonder why. Experience four days of live bands, choirs, dance groups, and a great variety of children’s fun and entertainment. Shop from almost 100 vendors inside City Hall and throughout the Outside Village, with everything from food and gift ideas to your family’s perfect Christmas tree. Our festival of German Christmas is bigger than ever and is ready to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Kitchener. Christkindl Market will run from Thursday, Dec. 5 to Sunday, Dec. 8 this year with the opening ceremonies meet-up beginning at 5:45 p.m. and the ceremony itself planned for 6:20 p.m. For more information: www.christkindl.ca
Christmas Fantasy – Opening ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7
Experience the magic of the holidays at Christmas Fantasy as thousands of sparkling lights are turned on in Victoria Park. Bring the kids for chances to see Santa and Mrs. Claus along with popular characters from Frozen. And don’t forget your phone or camera for pictures with them too! There will also be crafts, hot chocolate and you can enjoy a trolley ride around Victoria Park provided by the downtown Kitchener BIA. The opening ceremony and lighting will happen on Roos Island at 6 p.m. and the evening will run until 8 p.m.
For more information: www.kitchenerevents.ca
Admission into all events is FREE
It's the most wonderful time of year - when Globe Studios opens its doors for its Art Show and Open House! The studios will be open to the public on November 29th from 4-9 pm and November 30th from 11-4 pm. If you have been before, I'm sure you already have this on your calendar, and if you haven't yet attended, you'll want to do so this year! It's a great opportunity to chat with many of the artists about their work, and pick up something unique for that 'hard-to-buy-for' individual...or for yourself! #365ofgoodWR