The final notice has been received and the Helping Hand, a mission of the Pentecostal Church, has until October 17th to vacate its location in the old Morrisburg High School, where it has been a source of clothing for those in need for the past 11 years.
Unfortunate, but true, the Helping Hand used clothing depot, answers a very big need in South Dundas and the surrounding area with an average of 2000-2,500 visitors benefiting from it each year.
The fact that the Helping Hand has to vacate is not a surprise as they were put on notice way back in 2009, that they were in their location on a monthly basis. With the upcoming renovation to the historic high school building to house an expansion to the St. Lawrence Medical and the South Dundas Municipal offices, the monthly basis has ended and the Helping Hand is closing.
The problem is that since they were put on notice of the eventual loss of their location they have been unable to find a new location that would be rent-free, or at the very least, very cheap.
“We have a lot of people not happy about it,” says Pentecostal minister, Rev. Duncan Perry. “But we can’t afford to go somewhere else. We have a couple thousand dollars (donations) a year coming in, but that is not enough to rent.”
“We don’t want to locate in the mall, and the only other building in town is the former St. Lawrence Parks building.”
According to Rev. Perry, that building is in such poor shape it is no longer an option, and he understands the Food Bank will replace the County Library in its lower level arena location should the library move to the high school, once renovated.
“I was really hoping they (municipality) would give us half of the bottom of the arena,” says Rev. Perry. “But I understand that it is going to the arena staff for a workshop/storage. It would have been a perfect fit for us.”
“We’ve been open for 11 years, and we are averaging 2,000 to 2,500 people a year. The $2,000 we receive in donations (goodwill donations from those who benefit from the Helping Hand, and donations from the community) is put back into the community.”
Recently, money was donated to the Breakfast Programs at Seaway High and Morrisburg Public Schools. “We’ve also given a lot to the Food Bank over the years.”
“People have come to us and told us that if we weren’t (Helping Hand) here, they didn’t know what they would do. The clothing donated to us is top notch and we made a decision at the start, that if we wouldn’t wear it, it wouldn’t be used.”
“One lady has been using it over and over through the years to clothe her children.”
“Those are the kind of stories we hear every week.”
“It is really amazing what we have done locally, and we’ve sent truckloads of clothes overseas when we couldn’t handle it all.”
The Helping Hand is run by volunteers and there is no charge for the clothing, although visitors can make goodwill donations.
“We have helped people from all over. We wish we could keep it open, we really do. It’s too bad, and I understand the town doesn’t have the money for a building.”
“I do believe the number of working poor is getting larger. It’s unfortunate we need a place like this but we do. If there was a place found, we wouldn’t even think about shutting it down. If they would reconsider letting us share with the Food Bank that would be ideal.”
That, however, according to Rev. Perry, is not an option at this time, and the Helping Hand is preparing to close by the October 17 deadline. Arrangements have been made for representatives from Agape in Cornwall to visit the facility, with the hope that they will be able to take the clothing.
Located at 40, Fifth Street West in Cornwall, the Agape Centre runs a Food Bank, Soup Kitchen and Thrift Shoppe.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds says he is appreciative of the service the Helping Hand provides to the community. “It’s unfortunate, but hopefully they will find somewhere in the community.”
Byvelds confirmed that the long-term plan is for removal of the former Parks building. “That building is done, and we are only spending what we have to, to keep it going.”
He says there has been some discussion of moving the Food Bank to the arena location, but the discussions are very preliminary and nothing is decided and nothing can or will be decided until the final plans are in place for the high school.
Those plans, are for the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic to occupy the first floor (ground level) and the municipal offices to occupy some or all (if necessary) of the second floor. Once these two entities are accommodated then the remaining space, including the third floor, will be considered.
There was music playing quietly in Elsie Gallinger’s bright studio, light coming into the room from many sources. The studio walls were hung with the noted artist’s works, predominantly oils: but scattered amongst the […]
South Dundas Animal Shelter Name: Roxy. Hi everyone! My name is Roxy and I am a beautiful Husky Shepherd mixed female. I am no more than two years old, if that, a puppy really. I am a very happy dog, very friendly and I do need some manners training. I am not a big sized girl and I probably won’t be cause I am kinda short and sweet and dainty. I like to play and romp and cuddle, and I can hardly for a new best friend to come and claim me so we can play and romp and cuddle together. There are no adoption fees but all the guy and gal dogs here at the Shelter sure do appreciate a donation of food, based on my size and my length of stay.
South Dundas Animal Shelter Name: Blackie. Hi guys. My name is Blackie. Blackie is a female Lab mix, not spayed, as she has some curly hair going on, plerhaps some Newfie mix. She is still a young gal, estimated at maybe a year to a year and a half. Suspected to be a smart little gal, but again will need manners training Blackie appears to be a very gently loving girl. It is suspected that Blackie has some abuse in her background probably at the hand of a male. She retreats when approached by a male, but once she determines no harm is coming her way she is immediately her warm and loving self. The fact that she has managed to hang onto her wonderful, loving personality inspite of what we suspect has happened to her, speaks for the type of dog is and wonderful pet she will make. We are hoping the right family/best friend comes along soon to claim Blackie and return some of her love that she so freely gives.
South Dundas Animal Shelter Name: Cookie. 3-4 year old, Black Lab/Border Collie Mix. Not neutered. Hi, my name is Cookie and I am a beautiful, friendly young man, looking for a forever, loving home…..I have some mixed background going on which really shows in my colouring….nice white chest with some nice white boots, fairly long hair…which I think flows beautifully. They are thinking a Border Collie mix perhaps with some Black Lab. I am estimated to be three to four years old and am now probably at my full size….so a fairly large, mid-sized new best friend for someone. Could possibly work out as an agility dog or herding type dog. Oh and if you do come to see me, don’t forget to bring along a collar and leash so we can leave the shelter stuff here, for the next dog that need them. I’m waiting….and I’m listening….please call.
South Dundas Animal Shelter Name: Bubba/Zeus. Three to four year old Great Pyrenees. Not neutered. Great Personality. Gentle giant. Hi folks. Although the shelter originally gave me the name Bubba, it has been suggested my birth name is Zeus. Thanks to the generosity of an area groomer, I have been washed and blown dry from head to toe and am now ready to find myself a forever loving home. I like to cuddle and romp…just a bit. I am really an adorable big guy. If you are interested in meeting Bubba please call Kevin at the South Dundas Animal Shelter located east of Morrisburg, off the Church Road, at 613-913-1476. There are no adoption charges, however the Shelter gratefully accepts food donations based on the size of the dog and its length of stay.. This helps The Shelter to feed the next dogs to come along…a pay it forward type of set up.
We do also expect that new families use the money that it would have cost for your new best friend, to have him/her neutered or spayed.
Bubba/Zeus as you can see from the photos is patiently (LOL) waiting for a new loving home and a new loving family…where he can offer up some wonderful snuggle time….Zeus came to the shelter badly in need of some grooming…the volunteers were well on their way to getting him fixed up when no less than four area groomers volunteered to provide some assistance. Bubba/Zeus is a big guy and it was a big job. Thank you to everyone who offered to help.
If you are heading to the shelter to meet and adopt Bubba/Zeus or any of our dogs, be sure to bring along a collar and leash to safely get him/her home….oh, and if it is Zeus make it a really big collar.
For information on the dogs, or to make an appointment to meet one of our beauties, call Kevin at the South Dundas Animal Shelter at 613-913-1476. There are no adoption charges but donations of food based on the dog's length of stay and size are gratefully accepted. We strongly suggest that adopting families take the money saved from the cost of regular adoptions and put it towards having your new pet spayed/neutered.
Other dogs patiently waiting at the Shelter for new best friends include: Coco-female Chocolate Lab; Angel mixed breed 8 month old puppy; Buddy 2.5 year old neutered Yellow Lab; Missy 2.5 year old Border Collie Mixed female, spayed.
This is a public service column. The Leader accepts no responsibility for the dogs or the adoption process.
Singer/song writer Del Barber blew in from Winnipeg, Manitoba, like a warm prairie wind on Saturday, October 29, and won a lot of Ontario hearts.
Barber was the headliner at the second concert of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage winter series: he definitely lived up to critical praise that has described him as “sincere and heartfelt” and “electric” on stage.
Winner just last week of two Western Music Awards, Barber was completely at ease in the intimate St. Lawrence stage setting. His songs ranged from the jaunty Walking Down Town with a Country Girl to the poignant and memorable Home to Manitoba.
Barber is a born raconteur.
His songs are introduced with anecdotes and stories that serve the narrative flavour of his music well. Although he is a proud Westerner, he understands the ambivalence about the west many prairie people have.
“Western Canada is young, I guess, and it just hasn’t laid down the roots it needs,” Barber told the audience. “So many young people just dream of leaving their small towns.”
His song about a waitress who spent all her young years believing that she needed to “escape” the prairies to find her “perfect man and perfect kids” touched a chord.
“Her dreams fell asleep on the top bunk/And woke up on the floor…”
He sang of the eternal hold the land has on Western Canadians in the touching Home to Manitoba.
“There’s a piece of land still holds/The shadow of my name..”
Barber also has a gift for sharing with listeners the hilarious, the ironic, the unexpected fun of every day life.
The crowd roared with laughter as he described in wonderful songs his misadventures as a travelling artist in the wilds of northern Manitoba, as a teenager driving his first blind date Jasmine in his mom’s 1992 Dodge Colt, as a secret lover of Archie comics.
Barber sings with passion and humour. His guitar doesn’t just accompany him, he makes it sing along with him. There is a lot of the poet in his song lyrics: he has a way of finding just the right way to say things.
When he completed his set audiences left the concert hall literally grinning.
Opening for Del Barber was Carleton Place artist Brea Lawrenson.
Only in the early days of a promising musical career, Lawrenson is still developing the polish, and the on-stage ease, that are so much the elements of a seasoned musical performer. However, as she grew more comfortable with the Saturday night audience, her lyrics became clearer, her singing more controlled. When she and brother Sean sang together, her talent was evident.
There is a lot of passion and power in this emerging young artist. Her deep love of family and her dreams for the future colour the lyrics of her songs like the touching Hold On (written about her mother’s support) and Somewhere to Go, her determination to make it in the musical world.
Brea Lawrenson will be an artist to watch as her career unfolds.
The audiences at the Saturday concert certainly enjoyed a memorable concert evening.
Del Barber, who told the Leader in an earlier interview that he likes to “read,” to “get the feel of his listeners” when he performs, found a whimsical and typically humorous way to tell Saturday’s concert goers how much he was enjoying his South Dundas reception.
“Sometimes when I perform, I feel a bit like a man wearing a hot dog costume trying to sell hot dogs to people who really want burgers. But here in Morrisburg, I kind of feel I’m a man in a hot dog suit selling hots dogs to people who actually want hot dogs.”
The next concert in the St. Lawrence Stage series will take place on November 19, an evening of Intimate Acoustics.