The holiday season has arrived, and with it so too has the rush of shoppers to stores to grab all of the gifts that need to be crossed of the Christmas lists.
In this season of giving, one Sudbury man has taken it upon himself to promote a less commercialized version of gift giving with the Cans for Christmas movement.
Connor LaRocque is a 22-year-old volunteer with the Human League of Sudbury and last year he started the campaign to simplify the act of giving and to think of others who are less fortunate.
“The whole idea is not to donate specifically to us, but it's an incentive to get people away from the materialistic idea that we have to get out and buy presents, presents, presents,” said LaRocque.
“It's basically an incentive to give back, whether it be to the Human League, the Breakfast Club or the Food Bank, it's just to get people aware that it's about more than just buying gifts.”
Last year, LaRoque and friend Tristan Ritchie collected around $500 worth of food and they are hoping to double that number this year.
The Cans for Christmas movement is just that, a movement, according to LaRocque, who explains that this is more than you average food drive, and he has been pushing the hashtag #cansforchristmas as a way to circulate the idea of giving back during the holidays.
“Last year was more directed straight at charity, and this year it's the same premise but with the difference being that we are trying to send a message and create more meaning,” said LaRoque. “I know people from all over Canada and I'm asking them to send food or money, but to go out and do something for someone else.”
LaRoque will still be taking in donations, and says that he's been receiving calls already since this year's campaign launched on Nov. 30 about where to drop off items.
“I kind thought that #cansforchristmas was catchy and it adds to these donations and keeps it circulating, so if someone (writes a status) 'Christmas is here' and adds #cansforchristmas it shows that this is circulating and that there's an appreciation. People tend to believe they can't make a difference, when that is far from the
LaRoque will be out collecting and donating items right up until midnight on Christmas Eve while continuously pushing to raise awareness for #cansforchristmas.
You can check out more about the initiative in Connor's video above, and get involved by adding #cansforchristmas whenever you give back.