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The Integral Blog

The Integral Blog

Giving Back

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Integral Group & Holiday Helpers

For many of us, the holidays are a magical time. The joy we see on children’s faces, the family traditions and being surrounded by friends are all things we treasure.

But we know that not every family gets to experience that kind of holiday. While the last couple of years have been challenging for everyone, many families have been especially hard-hit.

With that in mind, Integral Group has once again taken part in the Holiday Helpers Christmas program. One of the things we love about this program is that it is about more than gifts under the tree. The sponsored families get things they need but cannot afford, like winter coats and boots and household goods that will see them through the year.

From Holiday Helpers:
Our mission is to provide a one-time customized Christmas package to families with young children, who are living in low-income situations.
Each sponsored family receives an artificial tree, decorations, gift card to a warm meal and presents from their personalized wish list.

2020 was an unprecedented year of lock-downs, closures and job lay-offs. Despite that, Holiday Helpers still sponsored 686 families (that’s 2,416 people).

For 2021, Holiday Helpers is committing to sponsoring 850 low-income families in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) with a customized poverty relief package.

92% of every dollar donated to Holiday Helpers Canada goes directly to help families in need.

In the past, Integral Group has participated by our team gathering at a Holiday Helpers Santa’s workshop and making a day out of wrapping gifts.

This year, despite Covid procedures being in place, we were not ready for an in-person event. So, instead, Integral Group made a monetary donation to sponsor a family of 4.

One of the founding members of our giving back committee, Lee, along with his wife Karen, also sponsored a family themselves but chose to buy presents. We sat down with Lee to talk about the experience.
“We ended up feeling a genuine affinity for the Holiday Helpers family we sponsored: It felt like we were buying gifts for people that we knew and cared about. This will be the family's first winter and Christmas in Canada and, we wondered where they had come from and how different this might be for them.

The whole experience made us think about how much we take for granted – it was humbling.”

Lee is generally shopping-averse, but for this, he got past his dislike and was at the store when it opened. As Karen and Lee’s cart began to fill, they realized anew how much this family needed. What had seemed like a chore to start quickly changed to something they were happy to do.
(The image at the top of this post shows the gifts for their sponsored family.)
“Spending a couple of hours to shop was nothing compared to the challenges this family faces."
This is an archive photo of Karen and Lee at an in-person Holiday Helpers Santa’s wrapping day a few years ago:
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From all of us at Integral Group, we wish all of you the happiest of holidays.

Holiday Helpers is a registered charity with a heartwarming story of how they came to be. To learn more about them, click on the image below:

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