Helping Hands 2021

Program to donate 100 packages to women's shelter

Recreation therapy team with care packages

In light of the holiday season, West Park Healthcare Centre's Recreation Therapy team’s Helping Hands program launched an initiative to bring West Park and the broader community closer together.

They sought donations from West Park staff to bundle together as care packages for Nellie’s women’s shelter in downtown Toronto, along with holiday cards from patients. The shelter helps women and children who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, and violence.

Through their hard work, and the generosity of West Park staff, the Helping Hands program will be able to donate 100 care packages.

“Everyone was shocked with how much came in,” Recreation Therapy Assistant Naomi Max said about the donations.

Donated items included soap, shampoo, and toothbrushes. On top of the grant Helping Hands receives from the West Park Foundation, they also received about $300 in cash donations to buy more supplies.

The care packages also included 180 bracelets handmade by patient Alexandrina Perdigao.

Bracelets Helping Hands

Perdigao says she enjoyed the Helping Hands project because “I like working with everyone because they’re all so motivated.”

Participating patients were hard at work on Wednesday, Dec. 1, as they happily assembled each package.

Perdigao says “some people may not be able to help a lot, but everybody wants to help how they can.”

This is the first time the program has done this holiday initiative with the women’s shelter, and Max says all the support they received is much appreciated. All the donations will be sent to Nellie’s on Dec. 14.

Thank you to everyone in the Helping Hands program for continuing to spread holiday cheer this year!