‘Tis the season for giving.
The NOTL Gives back donation drive returned for its third year on Saturday, collecting gently used clothes, toys and non-perishable food items.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Revel Realty, the NOTL Minor Hockey Association and Team MAC Inc. worked together to maximize the donations collected at the Meridian Credit Union Arena.
“We decided to partner up to blow it up a bit,” said co-organizer and Revel broker Jessie MacDonald.
To encourage donations, there was a visit from Santa, hot chocolate and freshly baked Christmas cookies.
“We’re getting everybody in the Christmas spirit,” said MacDonald.
Mom Lisa Lounsbury showed up with a bag of donations, including children’s clothes and tasty treats.
“I realized that all the things I’ve given in past years are not the kinds of things I should be giving, so this year I thought, ‘What are more fun and useful things besides those old lentil cans in the back of my cupboard?’ ”
Lounsbury decided things like Pop-Tarts and Bear Paws would “bring a bit more joy over the Christmas season.”
“We love being involved in great things in the community.”
Marah Minor, the town’s community engagement and communications co-ordinator, helped shine a light on this year’s highly anticipated event.
“We originally started during COVID when the need was higher due to the pandemic, but we decided to keep it going because people love it,” she said.
Clothing and food donations from this year’s NOTL Gives Back drive will support Newark Neighbours’ Christmas Food Hamper and Gift program and toys will be given to McMaster SickKids.