NOTL has given back to the community this year in a big way.
On Saturday, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake hosted a 3-in-1 charity drive, collecting clothes, food and Christmas presents for a variety of charitable organizations.
By 11 a.m., almost the entire Simpson Room at the community centre was filled with donations.
Beth Audet, assistant to Lord Mayor Betty Disero, said the day was an outstanding success.
“I'd say the perfect word is overwhelming,” said Audet. “But a very good overwhelming.”
Her colleague, Lauren Kruitbosch, noted, “People are just being so generous and so kind. And we've seen a consistent flow of traffic coming through, and people are just so happy to give, which is great, it's an amazing community initiative.”
Audet said people were donating even before the official drive started.
“Honestly, what's amazing is that we started off the day already with half a room full of stuff. People were already bringing in donations before we even started. So the fact that now we have so much more rolling is just, I mean we cannot say thank you enough.”
Some local organizations banded together to bring in truckloads of donations.
“St. Davids-Queenston United Church filled six SUVs and a van full of donations to drop off at the community centre,” Audet said.
“Also, St. Davids residents Judith Atwood, Adriana Vizzari and Ronalda Clifton took it upon themselves to leave a flyer and paper bag on the doorstep of the houses in their community, promoting the drive, then picked up the filled bags and delivered them for everyone.”
Donations of food and Christmas gifts will support Newark Neighbours' Christmas food hamper and gift programs, new or gently used warm winter clothing was collected for Newark Neighbours, Community Care, Hope Centre and Open Arms Mission, and Christmas gifts were also collected for children and families admitted to the McMaster Children’s Hospital during the holiday season.
“More individuals and families than ever need help making ends meet this year,” said Lord Mayor Betty Disero.
“We want to help ensure that everyone is warm and fed and that every child has a gift to unwrap this Christmas. Despite this year’s unique struggles, we want to help make this a magical holiday season for all.”
Judith gave me permission to share her phone number with you in case you would like an interview (905-246-2411). Judith would be able to help you with names for the cutlines of the following photos, as well.