211 helps you help others
We are all familiar with Santa Claus. The plump, white-bearded jolly fellow dressed in a bright red suit is associated with giving. But the true story of Santa Claus actually stems from the ancient Greek city of Myra in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and a man named Nicholas who, because of his kindness, was made a saint.
St. Nicholas was a bishop during the time of the Roman Empire. His parents were wealthy and sadly died when he was young, leaving him a substantial inheritance. From a young age, his parents instilled in him the importance of giving to others, so he used his inheritance to help the sick and those in need. He became known for his generosity. There are many stories that he also gave secret gifts to those who needed help. Sound familiar?
While most of us aren’t striving for sainthood, there are still many ways we can all make a difference in other people’s lives in our own community during this festive time of year. When you want to help but don’t know where to start, 211 is here.
Whether you want to donate food or provide a food hamper to an individual or a family in need, sponsor an older adult, a lowincome family or a person with a disability through an adopt-afamily program or go shopping for a gift for an older adult living in a care facility, 211 can navigate you to local organizations where you can practise kindness and help others who may be struggling during what should be a cheerful time of the year.
If you are interested in giving your time this season, Volunteer NS is an online resource that launched in early November that can help connect you to organizations in your community needing volunteers. The provincewide service is a partnership between Kings Volunteer Resource Centre, the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and Volunteer Canada. It supports both volunteer organizations in finding skilled volunteers and potential volunteers in finding information and volunteer opportunities.
To search the database, visit volunteerns.ca. If you are unable to connect online or need some help navigating the website, simply dial 211. We have partnered with Volunteer NS to help anyone trying to find or post opportunities that help build stronger communities.
If you find yourself in the position of needing assistance this holiday season, 211 is also here to help you find a program in your community. Whether it’s a food hamper, gift card, holiday meal or other things, 211 can let you know about availability, eligibility and how to register for a holiday program in your area.
To give or get help or to ask about holiday programs in your community, simply dial 211, visit ns.211.ca or text 21167. 211 is free, confidential and offers over-thephone translation services in more than 100 languages.