Each Christmas, thanks to some very generous donations, children, who are in hospital at CHEO over the holiday season, are given the opportunity to select a gift from guerneys, sometimes wheel chairs, piled high with books donated by Reader’s Digest (Montreal).
The books are donated to Jeff Arsenault’s Morrisburg-based Garden Foundation. Once in the Foundation’s possession, Harland Veinotte Ltd. comes on board to have the several hundred books transported to Ottawa.
According to Arsenault, Reader’s Digest has been making children’s Christmases brighter through this gift of books for the last 14-15 years. On board in the effort is Trends International (Toronto) which adds to the gift assortment with donations of doodle-type books and poster kits.
For many of the years this projects has been underway, Veinottes has been making sure the gifts get to their destination.
Arsenault credits everyone in the effort. “Everyone is just great. We get several hundred books suitable for all ages. There are puzzle and games books, writing kits, cookbooks, even video games they can play with.”
“Unfortunately, there can be several hundred children in CHEO over Christmas. Some of them get to go home, but then have to come back.”
Once Arsenault goes through the books, to make sure everything is suitable and that there are no small parts that might go to little ones, Veinottes arrives at his home to make sure the shipment gets to its intended destination in Ottawa.
“Randy (Veinotte) is a really great guy. He does a lot of good stuff in the community. I don’t know what I would do if it weren’t for Veinottes. I can’t thank him enough.”