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The Weather Network
Jun. 25, 2019 | Tuesday
Local News
Newark Neighbours gives the gift of Christmas
Newark Neighbours volunteer at their appreciation event, which has 34 volunteers on average. (Christina Manocchio/Niagara Now)

On Wednesday, 33 families in need will have a full, fruitful Christmas thanks to Newark Neighbours and the community. Individuals and families will receive gifts, a full Christmas dinner and two weeks’ worth of groceries thanks to the community’s donations and support.

Ten of those families have children aged one to 18 that receive gifts relative to their age group, and even adults receive gifts for Christmas. The organization tried to get gifts that children and families requested, explained Pat Hicks, gift coordinator at Newark Neighbours.

Food packages at Newark Neighbours. Christina Manocchio.
Food packages at Newark Neighbours.
Christina Manocchio. 

“We have everything from baby toys … to a telescope … and globes. Someone wanted a clock radio for their room … we even have an Easy Bake Oven in there,” said Hicks.

The families will receive two weeks’ worth of food due to the food bank being closed over the holiday season.

“We are just blown away every year, and as our food clients come in and families come in and gather up our gifts, it’s a really emotional time,” says Hicks.

The local Sparks (Girl Guides of Canada, aged five to six) decorated over 40 bags for the families, each one filled with gifts and other items. 

The organizations primary source of income is from their thrift shop, which includes clothing for adults and children, homeware and electronics. They have seen an increase of donations and sales as a result of their efforts to promote the charity.

“We have a thrift shop that 100 per cent of the proceeds support the food bank,” said Cindy Grant, who is a board member with the organization.  

Families in need are able to pick up necessities like shampoo, feminine hygiene products and food, every two weeks. The funding also allows families with dietary restrictions to purchase food at the grocery store for themselves. Families who belong to the food bank are eligible for the organization’s Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. 

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