Give a gift that gives back this holiday season

All of us at Central City Foundation want to wish everyone a happy holidays!

The holiday season is an important time for our community partners and we wanted to share with you the many ways you can give gifts that give back to these organizations that are truly making a difference in the lives of so many of our inner-city neighbours all year-round. From Christmas trees to ceramics to honey from urban bees, there is something for everyone on this list. 

Aunt Leah’s tree lot and thrift stores

When you buy a Christmas Tree from Aunt Leah’s tree lots you are supporting youth aging out of foster care, including young mothers and their children who are supported by Aunt Leah’s housing and support services.

This year you can find Aunt Leah’s tree lots in five locations around the Lower Mainland including North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and two in Vancouver. You can also support them by shopping at Aunt Leah’s Urban Thrift at 177 E. Broadway St. in Vancouver. 

Artisan gifts at Atira’s EWMA Store

EWMA is a self-employment program that works with emerging women artists and artisans in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and sells their wares at their store located at 800 E. Hastings in Vancouver. From handmade jewellery to pottery, there are so many gifts ideas that really make a difference in the lives of the talented women at EWMA. 


JustWork Economic Initiative provides meaningful, flexible employment to people who face barriers to working in the traditional workforce. You can give the gift of pottery with a purpose by heading to any of the stores located here or enroll your loved one in any of their pottery workshops. 

Skwachàys Lodge and Art Gallery

Skwachàys Lodge is Canada’s first Indigenous arts hotel. Operated by Vancouver Native Housing, Skwachàys supports Indigenous artists through an artist in residence program and through the Skwachàys Art Gallery where you will find authentic and fair trade works from local and international Indigenous artists. You will definitely find something unique at Skwachàys. 

Hives for Humanity

Hives for Humanity is a unique organization that mentors at-risk populations in beekeeping to create flexible work opportunities around the city. From honey to candles, there are so many great gift options for the busy bee in your life. Order online or find Hive for Humanity goods at these local shops. 

BWSS’ My Sisters Closet 

Battered Women’s Support Services provides education, advocacy, and support services to women who are experiencing or have experienced violence. From a crisis line to victim support groups and counselling, to legal support, BWSS helps women find safety. 

To support their programs they run two seriously fantastic thrift stores in Yaletown and on Commercial Drive. You can support BWSS by giving a gift card to a fashion fan in your life. 

Mission Possible Pottery 

Have a potter in the family? They’ll love a handmade piece of pottery from Mission Possible, which is a work readiness program that supports people living in poverty back into employment. They offer training and coaching and transitional work opportunities through their social enterprises. One of their programs is teaching pottery to their participants, which you can buy from their pottery studio at 659 E. Hastings. 

Megaphone – Hope in Shadows Calendar 

Megaphone is a street magazine that provides flexible employment to homeless and low-income people around the city. Each year Megaphone puts out the Hope in the Shadows calendar which features photos taken throughout the year by Megaphone vendors using disposable cameras. . This project is rooted in creating space for people experiencing poverty to tell their own stories, through their own lens. Hope in Shadows shows the beauty, joy, friendship, and hope that exist alongside the hardship in the lives of people impacted by poverty. You can purchase a Hope in the Shadows calendar from your local vendor, which you can find by downloading the Megaphone app and using their vendor finder or you can buy online here. 

For your loved ones who have it all consider giving them the gift of supporting community-led solutions by donating on their behalf to Central City Foundation. Donate here

If you are interested in seeing your donation in action, click the link below to read our community report to see the life-changing impact you have made as a donor to Central City Foundation.