South Dundas Exchange helps nearly 500 people this season

Volunteers get their instructions for packing boxes for the South Dundas Christmas Exchange on Wednesday morning (December 14). (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – Over 100 South Dundas families in need during the holiday were helped through the efforts of the volunteers with the South Dundas Christmas Exchange.

Chair Bonnie McNairn told The Leader that there is a lot of work involved with organizing the SDCE, and the volunteers are amazing.

“It is the community that comes together to do this,” McNairn explained, highlighting the different groups and individual efforts that when brought together, made the Christmas Exchange possible.

The Angel Tree program provided presents for 142 children up to age 12 registered this year. In Morrisburg, this was organized through the Morrisburg and District Lions Club with Angel Trees located at the two banks in Morrisburg – Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank. In Iroquois, Sandra Lee Johnston organized the Angel Tree, which was hosted at River Rat Treasures.

“It keeps growing,” she said of the generosity of the community with more items added to help families in the season.

Iroquois Public School completed an annual sock drive for the baskets, hair salons in Morrisburg and Iroquois worked with the SDCE to organize a pyjama drive, and the St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School in Morrisburg, and the Hope Springs United Church organized a book drive so every child involved received a new book or colouring book.

The Exchange provided 115 family food baskets, with ham or turkey as an option, and all the trimmings needed for Christmas Dinner.

“The food for all our baskets is purchased, which would not be possible without the generous financial support from organizations and individuals in the community,” McNairn said. “The support from this community each year to help neighbours and friends in need is phenomenal.”

In addition to the help for families, 38 people living alone were provided with food boxes. Those were distributed in partnership with Community Food Share.

Through the efforts of the South Dundas Christmas Exchange volunteers and supporters, 482 people in South Dundas were reached. A Happy Christmas indeed.

Festive fun while helping the community, volunteers pack boxes for the South Dundas Christmas Exchange. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

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