Cancer volunteer driver, Jennifer Hindorff was delighted with the 25 of ‘pink pigs’ she put out for adoption at Valu-mart on Saturday.
Hindorff, of Winchester, is a Wheels of Hope driver for the S.D.G. Prescott Russell branch of the Canadian Cancer Society. She quickly jumped into the adoptive piggy pasture when she heard of the unique fundraiser first run this past fall in Owen Sound, says Carolyn Bourassa, the Community manager for the Cancer Society.
“This (the fundraiser) is a brand new idea, so we thought we would give it a go,” said Bourassa, Saturday, as Hindorff’s was kept busy handling piggy adoptions. “It was a volunteer who came up with the fundraising idea. They (Owen Sound) tried it in the fall and were very successful.”
“Wheels of Hope is a fairly expensive program to run, but it is hugely beneficial program to people who need help with transportation to get to their cancer treatments. So we thought we would try the Piggy Adoption fundraiser. We thought it was a fresh idea and a catchy concept, so we put the idea out to our local drivers.”
Last year the Wheels of Hope program in S.D.G. Prescott-Russell, supported 28 families with a child and 506 individuals with their transportation needs. The total cost of the service was $150,716.
“We are lucky that Winchester Hospital provides some cancer treatments, but most of our local people go to Ottawa,” said Bourassa.
Hindorff, a single mom who is fighting her own battle with cancer, drives two to three times per month in the Wheels of Hope program for this area. “It is so very sad. If someone calls needing help with their transportation, you know it is because they don’t have family to help out, or they don’t have a car,” said Hindorff. “It is scarey enough to be dealing with the cancer. You don’t want to have to worry about how to get to your treatments. I figured I can drive, so this could be my way of helping others.”
Prior to bringing the Piggies of Hope to Morrisburg, Hindorff set up her first adoption pasture in Finch where she adopted out 20 pigs. “It was the first time, and we were all quite excited about it.”
It is hoped that each piggy that is adopted is returned at the end of February (to Valu-mart) stuffed with $75 which is the average cost for a round-trip to cancer treatment.
In addition to the money required to pay the costs of transportation, the Wheels of Hope program is always looking for drivers. “Some drive weekly, some monthly,” explained Bourassa. “We have lots of drivers who are retired, some of whom are away in the winter. So we would love to have more drivers.”
Anyone who was unable to adopt a piggy on Saturday, or who would like more information on becoming a volunteer driver is invited to call the office at 613-932-1283. Hindorff will also be placing some Pigs of Hope in various businesses in North Dundas.
Those unable to take on the sole responsibility of one of these adorable creatures, can keep an eye out for those located in businesses in South and North Dundas.
One such little pink guy is grazing on the front counter at The Leader for anyone who would like to make a donation.
Far too many Canadians are being left behind and counting on food banks to get by, according to HungerCount 2014, a national study released last week by Food Banks Canada.
Food bank use increased slightly in 2014 by 1 per cent. The report shows that in a typical month, food banks in Canada now provide food and other supports to more than three quarters of a million separate individuals – 841,000 people. The report also highlights the troubling trends that contribute to the increase in household food insecurity and food bank use across the country.
“The job market is very tough right now,” said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada, which coordinated the national study involving more than 4,000 food programs. “The unfortunate combination of low-paying jobs, inadequate supports for the unemployed, and a lack of training opportunities for Canadians is keeping food bank use near record levels.”
Ian McKelvie, Administrator for the Dundas County Food Bank, reports that food bank use at its two locations in Morrisburg and Winchester increased by 16 per cent in 2014.
“It’s discouraging to see that the increase in the number of people using our local food banks is so much higher than what the HungerCount is reporting nation-wide” noted McKelvie. “One statistic that mirrors the study” McKelvie adds, “is that 40 per cent of those requiring assistance in our community are children.”
The Dundas County Food Bank now assists 580 people including 355 families.
“The coming holiday season is a crucial time of year for providing emergency food for people in need. We are still seeking more donations of food and extra funds to purchase other items such as milk, fresh fruit and vegetables and meat,” said McKelvie.
The HungerCount 2014 study found that:
• Each month, 90,000 Canadians are forced to ask for help from a food bank for the first time.
• 4 in 10 of those relying on this assistance are children.
• The number of single adults helped by food banks each month has doubled since 2001 – from 80,000 to 158,000.
“It has been six years since the recession sent food bank use soaring,” continued Schmidt. “It is time to stop waiting for things to improve – it is time to start acting to make real investments in policies that will reduce the need for food banks.”
The HungerCount 2014 report proposes key policy recommendations that can make significant progress in reducing the number of people who need help from food banks. These include:
– Investing in affordable housing,
– Providing more effective supports to low-income families with children, and
– Helping Canadians get the skills they need for the well-paying jobs of today.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has named Kingston’s Cruickshank Construction Limited its Paver of the Year for 2014.
The award, handed out at the Ontario Road Builders’ Association’s (ORBA) annual conference, recognizes excellence in workmanship on a hot-mix paving project completed in 2014.
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) names one winner and three finalists each year and judges candidates on criteria including smoothness, night paving, completion, workmanship, and mix quality.
MTO chose Cruickshank on the strength of its work on the Napanee stretch of Highway 401, a multi-year project that was completed in the fall of 2014.
“We are extremely proud of all the people whose efforts went into the winning of this award,” said CEO Steve Cruickshank. “It was a great day for Cruickshank Construction.”
Cruickshank General Manager Roger Coulas accepted the award at ORBA’s annual conference on February 10th in Toronto.