Don't be fooled by the name, The Christmas Exchange/Le Partage Noel does some of its most important work right now, at the beginning of the school year.
Their aim is to give much needed help to students living with poverty, in the form of gift vouchers for Giant Tiger. Almost 3000 students have already applied for assistance and these vouchers can mean the difference between starting school with the proper school supplies and accessories and going without:
The supplies may not be essential for school, Matheson [Marilyn Matheson, Executive Director of Christmas Exchange] said, but lacking them can give a child low self-esteem and even motivate them to drop out of school. "A child could carry their school supplies in plastic shopping bags, but when they do, they're targets for bullying," she said. "We're trying to avoid that."
According to the Ottawa Citizen article the above quote is taken from, the Christmas Exchange is in dire need of funds to meet their goals for the start of the school year, only days away.
How easy would it be to throw in a few extra supplies when making the yearly pilgrimage to the school supply store?
They need donations of either money or supplies. There are dropoff locations around the City of Ottawa. Find out how and where to donate at their website, at the School Supplies Assistance Program page.