How to Help

Donate Goods

Thank you for supporting our youth at YWS!

PLEASE NOTE: we are not able to accept expired or close to expiring food for the YWS food bank due to a lack of storage. Thank you for understanding. 

If you are looking to make a donation of goods, we ask that you DO NOT pre-package individual gift bags, loot bags, or kits for our resident youth. For safety reasons, YWS must be able to clearly inspect all items donated, then sort, and distribute appropriately for each individual youth. We ask that you kindly provide your donations in large, clearly marked boxes or bags to allow our team of staff to safely inspect and sort.

Thank you for understanding!


Volunteer & Engagement Specialist

Items of Greatest Need: 

Gift Cards:

We are in need of gift cards this holiday season. Cards for Amazon, grocery stores, restaurants, or Visa gift cards allow our current and former youth who still receive after-care from our support team to shop for their own housewares, clothing, dietary restrictions, and much more. Shopping with gift cards empowers our youth to become independent and inspires them to purchase items that showcase their individuality.  

Grocery cards allow youth to: 

  • Shop based on personal dietary and allergy needs
  • Learn about health and nutrition
  • Develop budgeting skills
  • Learn to shop sustainably to avoid food waste
  • Learn how to meal prep and create shopping lists
  • Search for local deals/coupons/ sales
  • Experiment with new ingredients
  • Buy frozen goods 
  • Buy items in bulk to save
  • Shop local (rather than taking transit to YWS food bank)
  • Buy fresh fruits and veggies (things our food bank cannot provide)

Please note: Gift cards do qualify for tax receipts

In order to qualify, please provide YWS with the following information when donating:

  1. Full name
  2. Full address
  3. Phone number
  4. Email address
  5. Original sales receipt OR a clear picture/scan of the full sales receipt
  6. Value of each Gift Card (written on the cards themselves, or provided with a note for each)

For more information, please contact Anastasia at


  • Winter Coats
  • Winter Boots
  • Re-usable water bottles
  • Hoodies
  • Athletic Wear 
  • Leggings
  • Flipflops   


  • Black Hair Care (Shampoo, conditioner, styling products)
  • Silk Caps / Bonnets 
  • Body Wash Kits (scented and unscented)
  • Sensitive Skin Products
  • Lip Balm
  • Wide Tooth Combs 

Other items of greatest need:

  • Laundry baskets
  • Twin blankets
  • Bath towels
  • Blow up mattresses (with air pump) SIZE: Double
  • New suitcases and duffle bags
  • 80-120L clear plastic bins for storage 
  • Hair accessories 
  • Earbuds / Headphones 


Items YWS cannot accept:

  1. Wrapped gifts
  2. Mouth wash
  3. Chewing gum
  4. Nail clippers
  5. Metal nail files
  6. Nail scissors
  7. Aerosol products
  8. Travel-sized bottles of hygiene products

Items we cannot accept until further notice:

  1. Socks
  2. Toothbrushes and toothpaste 
  3. Hygiene kits
  4. Children’s items
  5. Sanitary napkins and tampons
  6. Q-Tips
  7.  Mouthwash
  8. Nail clippers and files
  9. Travel-sized hygiene products
  10.  Expired/near expiring non-perishable foods

Meal Drop Offs

If you are looking schedule a meal drop off, please contact Mike to schedule a drop off day and time at: or 416-748-0110 ext. 62

Summer 2021 greatest needs: Reusable water bottles, T-shirts, Shorts, Underwear , Athletic wear, Cloth grocery bags


For all donation inquiries and donation drop off scheduling, please contact Mike at  or 416.748.0110 x 62.

Due to limited storage space and cleaning facilities, we are not able to accept used or gently used clothing

Due to limited storage space, we are not currently accepting gently used clothing, furniture, computer or television donations. (For gifts of gently used furniture we suggest you connect with our partner agency The Furniture Bank).

We are not able to accept any used or lightly used towels or bedsheets. Please contact the Toronto Humane Society for all used towel and sheet donations. 

Thank you so much for your continued support!

YWS Food Bank

Our YWS Food Bank provides healthy and nutritious foods for our past residents living within our community. On an average week, YWS can see around 15-20 youth drop by to collect a YWS food package. Around the holidays, this number can triple. Food packages include a variety of items to help provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for those in need.

Looking to create a Food Bank Care Kit?

Here’s a shopping list with everything you’ll need!

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