November and December are typically hectic times at the toy store. The holidays have become a time when many children expect a hefty pile of gifts and parents enjoy watching their children delight when opening those special and much wished for presents. We spend a lot of time and energy at the store getting ready for the deluge of anxious and excited shoppers and it's fun helping people select toys and books for the kids in their lives. And you know that thing your mom told you when you were a kid, that when you grow up, the fun of gifts is in the giving, not the receiving? Turns out it really is true! Thanks, Mom!
So now imagine being a parent who would love to be picking and choosing those perfect presents and looking forward to their unwrapping but instead, because of circumstances beyond your control, you find yourself uprooted, largely stripped of your possessions and without the means to be participating in the seasonal rituals that everyone around you is enjoying. This is often the story of women residing at The Redwood, a safe haven and resource centre for women and their children who are experiencing abuse located in the Parkdale-High Park area. Finding oneself in need of a shelter at any time is distressing but during the holidays when so much emphasis is put on celebrations with family and enjoying spiritual and material comforts can make the experience particularly upsetting. The Redwood strives to help women and their children with a safe space and provides many learning programs for counselling, healing and skill-building for independent living. They are always looking for ways to make the lives of the families staying with them more comfortable and positive. They need our help to continue to do so.
We like to make it easy for people to give extra support to the Redwood during the holidays. You can help in a number of ways:
a) You can donate money by putting it in Scooter Girl's collection can on the store's front counter.
b) You can purchase Scooter Girl Toys gift certificates which are distributed to mothers staying at The Redwood so they can select and buy gifts for their own children.
c) You can go to http://www.theredwood.com to donate directly to The Redwood.
So while you are organizing the holidays for your own family, consider giving yourself the gift of giving by donating to The Redwood. Your mom probably would approve.