Toronto Star Classroom Connection

Another Season of Joy at Scott Mission

Scott Mission launches its annual Christmas Joy Program to provide gift cards, groceries, and toys—your donation will bring joy to thousands of local families this Christmas.

The Christmas season is a time of giving, goodwill, and excitement for many, but for others, the holidays are also a season of anxiety and uncertainty as they struggle to provide food, shelter, and clothing, with extra items such as toys being out of reach.

According to a report by the Toronto Star, the number of Canadians who reported financial stress jumped by 20 per cent this year. As the cost of living increases, many families are being forced to cut back on holiday spending this season.

Scott Mission is among Toronto’s longest-serving social service agencies, grounded in Christian values, while providing an array of critical services— including nutritious food, shelter, gently used clothing, family services, child and youth programs, a daycare centre, and mental health counselling.

“The poverty levels are unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” remarked Peter Duraisami, Scott Mission’s CEO. “Now, it’s even more difficult for a single parent or senior to put a nutritious meal on the table.”

Eight months ago, Enrique, Estefania, and their two young sons, Alessandro and Carlos, arrived from Mexico as refugees.

“We came to Canada for a new future for our sons,” Enrique said, a home-builder by trade. “Life is very difficult in Mexico and because of so much insecurity, it is not a promising place for our children to have a future.”

The young family was able to secure a small apartment in Etobicoke but had little left for other necessities. Members of their community shared about the resources offered by Scott Mission, so Enrique and Estefania found their way to the Mission on the TTC—filled with hope and uncertainty about what they would encounter there. But as they approached the Welcome Centre, they were met with warmth and kindness, and they received clothing and bags of groceries.

This Christmas, Enrique and his family and thousands of other families will receive that same kindness as the Mission’s Christmas Joy Program provides 2,600 families with grocery gift cards and food hampers, plus toys for 1,000 children.

“Our Christmas Joy Program has never been more necessary,” said Cynthia Laton, Manager of Intake Advocacy, “I see many moms who are so anxious about providing the daily necessities. It gives them peace and joy knowing that they will be able to provide a Christmas feast and toys for their children.”

Love is the way that Scott Mission delivers Christmas joy to the families in our community who need it most.

While Enrique and Estefania will surely miss their family in Mexico, they will be surrounded by a loving community at Scott Mission this holiday season. “We don’t have the words,” Estefania said, “but we give many thanks to you all for your support in helping us have good food, warm coats, and toys for the boys. Because of you, we will have a good first Christmas here in Canada. Gracias y Feliz Navidad!”

Thank you for delivering Christmas joy to the individuals and families who will walk through the doors of Scott Mission this December. Give now at





Toronto Star Newspapers Limited