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Give Families a Breather this Winter

We don't have to tell you that winter in Calgary can be unbearably long and cold. Imagine for a moment that you are already struggling to keep the heat on. Your fridge and cupboards are looking bare, and you have no idea how you are going to buy that one special gift for your child at Christmas this year. You already feel like you are drowning, and now the amount owing on your utility bill is more than what you have in your account after many other monthly expenses. Each winter, this story is a reality for far more Calgary families than many of us realize.

That's why Aspen created the Winter Breather Program.

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What is Winter Breather?

Winter Breather is a fund that supports families and individuals in Aspen's programs who need a little extra help during the winter months. The Winter Breather fund provides financial relief of utility and grocery expenses, empowering those supported to create their own meaningful holiday experience while focusing on the long-term goals that they are working on.

Impact of your Support

Last year, 856 individuals across 221 homes received support to keep their lights on, their cupboards full and their holiday season in tact! Of all of the individuals supported last year, 57% were children and youth under the age of 18; that is 489 kids who were able to experience a meaningful holiday experience with their family thanks to the kind support of donors like you.

Last winter, donors helped us provide $23,550 in utility support and $29,225 in grocery support. We know the demand will be greater than ever this year, and we are asking for your support to help meet the critical need in our community.

Winter Breather Campaign Card

How you can Support Winter Breather

  1. Make a donation of any amount to the Winter Breather fund.
  2. Host your own fundraiser and encourage your colleagues or friends to come together in support of families in need.
  3. Schedule a Skip-the-Depot pickup and donate the proceeds from your cans and bottles after your holiday party.
  4. Purchase cookie dough in time for holiday baking and cookie exchanges (details coming soon).

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Get in Touch

Need more information or want additional ways to get involved?
Contact Ashlee Hamblin at 403.463.8936 or

The Winter Breather Program works to give people in need a breather by covering costs related to utilities and groceries, allowing them the opportunity to have a meaningful experience over the holidays.

— Shirley Purves, CEO