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How a Non-Profit Gives Back: Aangen’s 2022 Christmas Gifts

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

At Aangen, every employee is an important piece of our nonprofit. And, big or small, giving back to those who build and grow the organisation is crucial to its continued success.

After a long, challenging year, 2022 has come to a close.

Aangen spent much of 2022 working through the continued effects of the pandemic, rising costs of food, groceries and supplies, and the ever-growing and increasingly difficult work of combating food insecurity and poverty through our organisation’s programs and needs. It meant we were busy and intensely focused on the task at hand, and so when the December holidays arrived our Board of Directors and executive committee decided on a different kind of end-of-year gift: some items from Canadian Tire.

Why Canadian Tire? Well, it has all sorts of things from coffee makers and clothes to decorations and household goods–really, there was something to be found for everyone.

But why a holiday gift at all? Well, being a small not-for-profit, Aangen’s employees wear a lot of hats, switching between tasks and assignments as needed. It can be exhausting, with long days and hard conversations, working within systems that seem determined to make our work as difficult as possible. While we are not more deserving than others, we are all keenly aware that being able to provide our employees with ways to know they are appreciated goes a long way to make us–our cleaners, our kitchen workers and our office staff–feel like our work is noticed and respected.

So, what kinds of things did our people buy? Well, today I wanted to show the kinds of cool and interesting things employees were interested in purchasing!

First off we have Arpith Sengupta, our Human Resources Manager. Arpith went from renting a basement apartment to a house, meaning he’s in need of all sorts of furniture. He purchased two tables and a television to help himself and his wife (who just arrived from India in November!) make their house feel like home.

Braeda Dowden, Aangen’s Caseworker, made some new additions to her kitchen: a new mortar and pestle plus some gorgeous spice jars! We look forward to seeing what kinds of interesting creations come out of her purchase.

Our Creative Director, Alicia Gunning, often finds herself vacuuming her apartment due to her dog (and Aangen’s unofficial mascot) Falkor’s loose fur. She purchased a new cordless Dyson vacuum to help ease the cleaning process. Plus, it’ll make cleaning her car far, far easier.

As for myself…I had some trouble deciding on my purchase. I went back and forth between a Dyson and a bicycle and landed on neither–-instead, I purchased an Amazon Fire tablet to download ebooks from my library, a coffee grinder, espresso beans, and a milk frother. Making lattes while I read has become a new ritual I look forward to each morning.

Those are just a few ways we’ve used our Christmas gifts. Others bought gifts for their children and families, household items for daily use, clothes, toys, and more. While we’re not saying it’s necessary or even required to give a gift, we are saying that finding ways for employers to show their appreciation for us makes helps us know our needs are not taken for granted, that we are appreciated and that we are valued for our work.

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