MORRISBURG–For the 25th consecutive year, the South Dundas Christmas Exchange is enlisting people from the community to work together to bring a bit of joy and hope into the lives of many of our less fortunate neighbours.
While the Christmas season may be an exciting time for many, there are also those, who often through no fault of their own, find this a stressful and unhappy time.
These are the members of the South Dundas community to whom the Christmas Exchange reaches out.
Families needing a bit of a hand in making this a happier time are invited to register with the South Dundas Christmas Exchange Hot Line which will be in operation from 1 to 4 p.m. only, Monday to Friday, from November 11th to November 22nd.
As this is a private line donated by one of our local Churches, those registering are asked not to call other than the days and times specified. The Hot Line number is 543-2005.
The Christmas Exchange mandate is “to ensure that families in need are provided with the making of a nice Christmas dinner with some of the traditional trimmings.”
Again this year we will work closely with the South Dundas Food Bank,” says Exchange chair, Carol Richer. “All Christmas Baskets will be provided by the Christmas Exchange. Because of the large number of baskets to be prepared, however, it is impossible to do all of them at the Legion Hall.”
“The co-operation of the Food Bank in distributing those for singles has made this a more manageable task for the past few years, and will continue this year,” says Richer.
Singles are reminded that they must register through the Food Bank, 543-0065, and not through the published Hot Line number. Only family registrations will be accepted through the Hot Line.
Receiving a Christmas Basket will not disqualify any Food Bank client from receiving their regular assistance, but is simply meant to make Christmas a bit special for them and their family.
“Although the Christmas Exchange provides a well stocked Christmas Dinner Basket, we know that some families will require additional assistance. They can contact the Food Bank to discuss their special needs with the co-ordinator.”
Richers confirms that the Morrisburg Lions Club sponsored Angel Trees, will again be located at the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Bank of Montreal in Morrisburg, and at SDS Kerr/Beaver Dental.
In Iroquois, Sandra Johnston will be co-ordinating the Angel Tree at the Bank of Montreal.
The community is invited to watch for the Angel Trees later in November, and reminded to return all gifts by the dates specified.
The gifts and toys collected will be distributed through the Christmas Exchange, along with the Dinner Baskets.
In addition those wishing to make financial donations, for which Tax Receipts will be issued, may send cheques to: The South Dundas Christmas Exchange, P.O. Box 450, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0.
Monetary donations may also be made at Valu-Mart in Morrisburg, through the “Top-up Program” which will get under way later in November. The Top-up Program is as simple as asking your cashier to add a donation to your grocery bill.
Financial donations enable organizers to purchase turkeys, hams and other perishable food items, and are critical to the success of this project.
Volunteers are also needed, particularly people interested in taking on organizational roles.
Some of our volunteers have been working with the Christmas Exchange for many years, and there is a need for some younger folk to come forward to take over. Call Carol Richer to discuss how you can help.
Organizers are counting on the support and assistance of as many as possible in making this 25th year the most successful ever.
“A sincere thanks goes out to all volunteers who have worked with the Christmas Exchange over the past 25 years, some of whom are still involved,” says Richer. “They are true examples of the caring and generous people who make up the community of South Dundas, and are to be commended for demonstrating the true spirit of Christmas.”