Our local gift guide is full of socially conscious goodies from across the GTA
Welcome to United Way Greater Toronto’s local gift guide, which is full of examples of how our work connects our neighbours to income, to jobs and, in some cases, to self-employment. Every gift on this list comes with a story: How the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity initiative helped a mom in Scarborough start her own business. How a youth struggling to find a job got the training they needed thanks to a social enterprise. How art can help someone heal and find opportunities.
We hope you consider gifting one of these eclectic, unique and delicious offerings and get to know some of the organizations that we support. You won’t just be spreading the joy, you’ll be supporting your community too. Happy gifting!
LOCAL GIFT GUIDE
FoodShare gift boxes, gift cards and pantry items
United Way supports FoodShare through program funding and operating support, so they can continue to improve access to affordable, nutritious food across Toronto. FoodShare operates a fresh produce distribution social enterprise for household and wholesale customers in Toronto, with proceeds funding food justice work in schools, on urban farms, at produce markets and more.
View their gift cards, gift boxes, and pantry items online. Place orders by Dec. 5 to have boxes delivered during the weeks of Dec. 12 and 19, or boxes can be picked up starting Dec. 5. Quantities are limited. Contact email@example.com or 416-363-6441 ext. 275 for questions and orders.
Goodness Gift gift boxes
Run by SAAAC – South Asian Autism Awareness Centre, Goodness Gift is an employment social enterprise supported by TEF, a United Way initiative dedicated to creating training and employment opportunities for people facing barriers to the labour market. Goodness Gift sells socially conscious gift boxes that directly support training and employment for people with exceptionalities. Goodness Gift Boxes include holiday gift boxes, wellness boxes and home boxes in a range of price points.
ILEO Holiday Market
Check out the incredible wares of up-and-coming Scarborough-based entrepreneurs at the ILEO Holiday Market. You’ll find great gifts, including handmade soaps by Laboterra, organic protein bites by Akai Organic, hot sauces by Hot like Mari, all-natural body lotion by Untainted Bath and Body Care, body scrubs by Rah Goddess and hand-embroidered kaftans, head wraps, jackets and skirts by Wifey Collection. All the entrepreneurs are part of ILEO’s Storefront Starter Golden Mile pilot program, which helps them build their business and contribute to a vibrant local retail environment in the Greater Golden Mile.
Visit the market at First Canadian Place, 100 King St. West, from Tuesday, Nov. 29 to Friday, Dec. 2. The market is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Inspirations Studio Pottery Shop
For over 27 years, hundreds of women have walked through the doors of Inspirations Studio to learn how to make pottery in a safe, supportive and transformational environment. Today the studio is part of YWCA, one of United Way’s funded agencies, and continues to improve the emotional and mental well-being of its members while providing them with the opportunity to earn supplemental income through the sale of their unique ceramics.
Visit Inspirations Studio’s online shop or store at 389 Church St., Toronto, Tuesday-Friday, 12-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 12-6 p.m. Online orders can be picked up in person.
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto’s Cedar Basket Gift Shop
United Way partners with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) on food and mental health programs, as well as the Cedar Basket Gift Shop. This employment social enterprise offers Indigenous youth on-the-job training, helping them gain new skills and build confidence. The store carries a wide variety of one-of-a-kind First Nations, Métis and Inuit handcrafted products, each with their own special meaning and story.
Visit the Cedar Basket’s online shop or store at 16 Spadina Rd., Toronto, Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m-5 p.m. If you are unable to place an order online, call 647-260-9264.
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto’s Indigenous Marketplace
The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto is hosting an in-person and online marketplace featuring more than 50 local Canadian Indigenous artisans displaying handcrafted jewelry, traditional and contemporary clothing and paintings, dreamcatchers, medicines, and gourmet items such as hot sauces and maple products.
The marketplace runs Friday-Monday, Nov. 18-Dec. 5, at 16 Spadina Rd, Toronto, and online.
United Way Tribute Card
Send a card that gives back. United Way digital and print cards are available to send electronically or physically for holidays, birthdays, thank-yous and more.
Double your impact by becoming a Leadership donor
Make your first gift of $1,200 or more to United Way Greater Toronto and it will be matched, dollar for dollar, thanks to the Darryl & Cassandra White Gift Match.* That means your gift will have twice the impact.
*The Darryl & Cassandra White Gift Match only applies to gifts of $1,200 to $9,999 to United Way Greater Toronto; not to gifts designated to other registered charities. The Gift will match up to $1 million in total donations.