As Christmas fast approaches various groups and individuals revisit a yearly tradition to help those less fortunate then them during the holiday season. Some folks raise money or food donations for local charities to distribute, some put on large dinners for the street community, but one small woman in Toronto takes it a step further: for the last four years Amy Brown, known as Amy Anonymous, has been the driving force behind ‘Milk and Cookies for the Homeless’ a drive with a special twist — it includes the gift of cannabis.

Amy operates a dispensary in downtown Toronto. Teaming with other members from the cannabis community to hold fundraisers at places like The Underground Comedy Club and Vapor Central, she gathers together items that she hopes will make peoples’ lives a little brighter.

Besides milk and cookies, Amy has given out toiletries, hats, gloves, scarves, and even new winter coats, but what makes Amy’s gifts extra special is the cannabis. I know from experience the reactions you get when giving away marijuana to people down on their luck, and I also know what it feels like as a street person to have a total stranger gift you some pot. I feel confident in saying, in my best Tony the Tiger voice, ‘it’s great!’

Winter in Toronto is miserable even if you have a home and job, the proof is in how many jet south to escape it each year. Myself, I left for the milder west coast winters 35-plus years ago. So imagine what it must be like living on the street during a Toronto winter with just cardboard for a mattress.

To understand, just a little, watch this YouTube video of Amy handing out some of her gift bags in 2014 and watch the people’s faces and expressions when she asks them if they use cannabis and she lets them know there is some in the bag. 

Nothing flashy, no fanfare or TV commercials, just one hard working, dedicated woman wanting to bring some joy and happiness to others during what can be a difficult and stressful time of year.

It wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t mention the support of all the generous people in the cannabis community who chip in to help make this happen. Without that support there wouldn’t be much to give, but when everyone chips in we all have plenty. You can see how much is needed at the start of the video where Amy tries to thank everyone but the list is to long.

If you would like to help you can contact Amy Brown on Facebook. Send her a note to find out what is needed this year.