About Us

Holiday Helpers is a registered charity whose mission is to provide a one-time personalized Christmas package to low income families with young children who are trying to improve their circumstances.

We work with donors, volunteers and partnering charities to provide each family with a holiday meal, decorated Christmas tree, and customized Christmas gifts.

In the Beginning...

In 1996, two sisters were volunteering at the Salvation Army Food Bank in Brampton and found out about a family who had lost everything in a fire just days before Christmas. Wanting to do more than just give money, April and Sarah Rutka canvassed their friends and families collecting Christmas decorations and spare change to purchase the bereaved family an artificial tree.

In the years that followed, the support from their network of friends and family grew and they adopted more and more families each season. Since 1996, Holiday Helpers has donated Christmas packages to over 3,000 families in the Greater Toronto Area.

What does Holiday Helpers do?

Holiday Helpers provides the complete Christmas experience to low income families each season. Approximately 85% of the families are single-parent households, some are New Canadians, and all are involved with subsidized agencies for daycare, or other kinds of family aid. The family's elders - parent(s), guardian, grandparent, aunt, older sister/brother - are all motivated to make a positive difference in their children's lives. They often work multiple jobs to make ends meet, attend night school or even perform volunteer work of their own.

Each family receives:

Our 2015 program surpassed our expectations and we delivered 435 Christmas packages to deserving families in the GTA. Over $130,000 was donated to the holiday cause, along with mountains of gifts, decorations and wrapping paper. Over 600 donors sponsored and shopped for our chosen low-income families and 1,500+ volunteers wrapped and delivered gifts. Each family was able to celebrate the season with a beautiful Christmas tree, a warm meal, and a few special presents that were hand selected just for them.

Our goal for 2016 is to deliver Christmas packages to 500 GTA families!

Our Charitable Registration Number:
HH Charitable Registration #: 83327 3022 RR0001