Christmas Exchange registration opens Nov. 8

MORRISBURG – The South Dundas Christmas Exchange is preparing to head into its 34th annual campaign with the launch of the 2021 “Hotline” registration starting Monday, November 8.

“This year’s campaign is in memory of our long-time chair Carol Richer who passed away in April of this year,” says chair Bonnie McNairn. “We honour all of the work and care that Carol put into the Exchange over the years. She was there in the beginning, and she has left us with a very clear and organized agenda.”

The Exchange’s mandate to provide the ingredients for a complete Christmas dinner to families and individuals in need in the South Dundas community was developed over the years by Richer. Similar programs are run in North Dundas by Community Food Share and House of Lazarus.

“When our clients phone the registration hotline, they indicate their preference turkey/ham. For the purpose of providing toys (Children’s Angel Trees Christmas Gifts) and pjs (Pyjama Drive), those with children (12 years and under), are asked for sex, age and sizes.

“With the exception of providing ages and sizes for gifting and pjs, all information/names collected by the Exchange are confidential.”

Each Christmas Dinner Food Box provided by the Exchange contains the choice of turkey/ham, potatoes, carrots, apples, gravy mix, canned fruit, canned vegetable, juice, cookies, crackers and cheese, Jello and chocolates.

For families in need this year, the “Hotline” number is 613-543-2005. Registrations will be accepted from 1-4 p.m. each day from Monday to Friday, November 8-12 and November 15-19.
Persons living alone are asked to please register for their baskets through the Food Bank.

Unfortunately, again this year, our Christmas Exchange will be impacted by COVID-19, and only fully vaccinated persons will be able to enter the Morrisburg Legion for box pickups.

This year’s pickup day is Thursday, December 16. Proof of vaccination and identification will be required.

“Every year, we have clients unable to pick up their boxes due to work or no transportation, and this year we have the required COVID vaccination status,” said McNairn. “So to help, we will distribute forms that can be filled out to appoint alternate pickup. We will have them available through Community Food Share.”

“I understand that when the Exchange started some 34 years ago, it formed out of necessity,” said McNairn. “At that time some churches, some individuals and some service groups were trying to help a few families here and there which was wonderful. But while some families were reached many more were not.”

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