Christmas Stockings for the Homeless in Ottawa


Laurent and I are hosting a gathering to stuff stockings for the homeless. (This initiative was inspired a few years ago by our friend and neighbor, Maude Downey, who is busy with graduate school this year and encouraged us to take over her event.) So here is the full outline of events, especially for those of you who are new to this.

The idea is to deliver gift stockings to homeless shelters in our community – simple pairs of warm socks, stuffed with the sorts of things a homeless person might use or enjoy, and that are small enough to fit in a stocking. The shelters are very supportive of the idea and each pair brings a little comfort to someone who probably has lost contact with family and loved ones.

You can contribute even if you can not make it to the event.

Our Stocking Stuffing Event

Date: Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Anytime between 11 am and 3 pm.

See evite invitation for location and contact details.

Call or email if you need directions.

BEFORE December 18, gather items to bring along (see the list below).

If you are not able to make it on Sunday and want to drop off items before, we will be happy to accept them. Bring us your already-stuffed stockings, or some goodies from the list below and we (Laurent, I and anyone else who shows up) will stuff them for you.  We’ll deliver all stuffed stockings on the evening of December 18.

On December 18, at our house, we will simply pool everything and stuff all the stockings together. We will start at about 11 am but you can come anytime between 11 am and 3 pm. Bring whatever you are able to gather. Laurent and I will supply hot drinks and snacks.


  • pairs of warm socks (men’s or women’s) to stuff, and items from the following list of stocking stuffers approved by shelter representatives:
  • disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, small shampoo, deodorant, hand cream, condoms, tampons (if your stocking is for a woman)
  • socks, mittens, scarves, underwear,  hand warmers (those little heating pouches that you activate by shaking and put in your mittens)
  • used pocket novels, notepads, pens, a few stamped envelopes, candies or candy bars in sealed wrappers, playing cards, bus tickets, coupons for Tim Horton’s etc.
NB: No liquid containing alcohol such as after shave, shaving lotion, mouth-wash, etc.

We look forward to hosting this event. Although we have not participated in this small gesture of stuffing stockings as a group, Maude assures us that it offers a direct way to share some of the warmth of the holiday season with those who have much less warmth in their current lives.

If possible, please RSVP by Dec 13th or earlier to give us an idea of numbers. (Of course, you can also just show up if you can’t be sure beforehand.) Feel free to invite family, friends or colleagues along.


See you soon.

Doug and Laurent

[Click the back button in your browser to return the invitation and RSVP]

Or create your own event

Of course, feel free to take the idea and run with it, as an individual, a family, a book club, a work team, a group of neighbors.


Union Mission, 35 Waller Street, Ottawa

contact – Dianne Morrison  234 -1144

Salvation Army, 171 George Street, Ottawa

contact – Christine Farnel  241-1573

The Shepherds of Good Hope, 233 Murray Street

contact – Sheila Burnett, 789-8210

Cornerstone (women’s shelter), 172 O’Connor Street

contact – Sue Garvey 237-4669

Young Women’s Emergency Shelter, 374 Besserer St.

contact – Sue Pihlainen, Coordinator 789-8220


The shelter provides shelter and supportive counseling to young women between the ages of 12 and 20 (average age is 17 ). The young women come to the shelter because they can’t live with their families for a variety of reasons such as: abuse, impact of abuse, neglect, parent/child conflict, etc. The shelter staff helps young women get connected to resources in the community to support their re-integration back to the community.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joe December 20, 2015 at 11:02

Nice to hear good things can happen

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