Christmas Exchange runs three programs: School Supplies Assistance, which was added this year; Co-ordination Services, which saved the community close to $600,000 in 2010; and Christmas Assistance, which helped over 10,000 families last year. All programs are funded through donations and fundraising events.

The School Supplies Assistance Program will provide store gift certificates to families with school-age children who are verifiably in need and who would not otherwise receive assistance from any other community organization. With the gift certificates, these families will be able to purchase the appropriate school supplies for their children, which will significantly contribute to the child’s ability to succeed in their studies. Click here for a more detailed program description.

Co-ordination Services are handled through a Centralized Web-Database. The database collects the names of all the individuals and families referred through a network of over 300 community organizations. The Exchange then cross-references the names of all clients to eliminate duplications and ensure that all those in need receive the help they deserve. In 2010, the total savings to the community through processing duplicates of both Christmas Assistance and Toy Assistance from the Salvation Army Toy Centre was close to $600,000. Click here for more information on the Co-ordination Services.

The Christmas Assistance Program provides either a food hamper or store gift certificate to families and individuals who are verifiably in need and who would not otherwise receive seasonal assistance from any other community organization.

Hampers are reserved for clients who cannot, for various reasons, do their own food shopping, while gift certificates allow recipients the flexibility of selecting their own meals. This is especially helpful for families with dietary restrictions, or cultural food preferences. Click here for a more detailed program description.

Click here to read the stories of some of the people that Christmas Exchange has helped through the years.

What We Have Accomplished

In 1995 Christmas Exchange provided food assistance to 16,000 people in the community. Over the past 15 years that number has increased to average between 23,500 and 25,500 people. The table below shows a break down of the number people, households, seniors, children, and dollars saved for 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Christmas Exchange 2010 2009 2008
Total number of people helped directly by the Exchange 25,000 24,393 25,180
Number of Households 10,271 9,485 9,278
Number of Seniors 2,901 2,357 2,198
Total number of Children (under 18 years of age1) 11,573 10,414 11,278
Number of duplicates found for food assistance 2,350 2,406 2,357
Community savings from processing duplicates2 $235,000 $240,600 $235,700
Toy Centre
Number of Children referred to the Toy Centre 12,035 11,031 11,702
Number of duplicate children found for toy assistance 2,411 3,316 3,116
Community savings from processing duplicates3 $361,650 $497,400 $467,400
Total Community savings processing duplicates for food and toys $596,650 $738,000 $703,100

1. This does not include parents under 18 years of age.
2. Based on the average gift to families of $100 from a 2009 survey of all helping agencies.
3. Based on the average gift of $150 per child.

Special Thanks

A successful campaign is the result of careful planning, volunteer effort, financial and in-kind contributions of hundreds of individuals and businesses. We extend our sincere thanks to our sponsors.