Sask. non-profit's doorstep deliveries open door for year-round support

·3 min read
A volunteer with Mission20 looks over the holiday care packages of food and gifts that will be delivered to people in Saskatoon. (Submitted by Scott Miller - image credit)
A volunteer with Mission20 looks over the holiday care packages of food and gifts that will be delivered to people in Saskatoon. (Submitted by Scott Miller - image credit)

It all started with a cancelled Christmas supper.

Last December, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Saskatoon's City Centre Church to call off its annual event, which normally serves dinner for 800 to 1,000 people in need.

With little time to change course, volunteers decided to deliver the food and gifts directly to people who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness.

Since then, Mission20 — the church's outreach arm — has launched an initiative it calls Doorstep:GO, delivering care packages year round.

"We came back on Valentine's Day, on Easter, on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Canada Day," said Scott Miller, the partnership co-ordinator for Mission20.

"We were like, 'OK, let's go out again. Keep on bridging those connections and building some authentic relationships.'"

While many of those who received holiday bundles last year have either moved or lost contact, about a quarter are still connected with Mission20, Miller said.

This year, the number of holiday bundles has doubled to 200, reaching more than 800 people.

We mostly want to build the connections. 'Is there anything else you need? Is there anything else we can help with?' - Scott Miller, Mission20 partnership co-ordinator


Volunteers from two Saskatoon churches put together the packages, made possible through community donations. Each includes a Christmas ham, staple foods and gifts for families.

"It hits home for me, because I grew up in an at-risk family. Stuff like this really helped set us up for success and get more stable," Miller said.

"As a church, that's what we're supposed to do. Just help people who need it, period."

Building a coalition of resources

The Doorstep initiative is open to anyone in need, with or without religious affiliation.

"We mostly want to build the connections. 'Is there anything else you need? Is there anything else we can help with?'" Miller said.

He shared how one woman told volunteers during a follow-up call this year that she was in hospital, and she wouldn't be home for her granddaughter's birthday.

The volunteers bought a special cake and a gift for the young girl, and delivered it to the family.

Miller said the ultimate goal of Mission20 is to become a coalition of organizations pooling resources together to help even more people, no matter the situation.

"Churches, businesses, other non-profits — we don't really care so much about whether they're religious-affiliated or not," he said.

While the Mission20 name references the group's work on 20th Street, and is not connected to other charitable efforts of the same name, Miller said the Saskatoon organization wants to offer support across the city.

Financial donations and volunteers are also needed to run the Doorstep program throughout the year.

"We had to cap out at 200 [bundles this year] because that's as much as we can sustain," he said. "I would love to keep adding 100 people, at least, every year."

So far, the deliveries have reached more than 2,200 people, with more than $22,000 spent to help those in need.

Anyone who wants to get connected with the program, either as a recipient or donor, can visit the Mission20 website.

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