South Dundas Christmas Exchange helps many in the community


Volunteers prepare to pack boxes for the South Dundas Christmas Exchange. SDCE chair Bonnie McNairn (left) leads the way to get box packing underway for Christmas dinner boxes. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – Thanks to an exceptional amount of community support and the work of a dedicated group of volunteers, nearly 500 people across South Dundas will have a better Christmas.

South Dundas Christmas Exchange chairperson Bonnie McNairn told The Leader that this year, the community group will support 122 families including 127 children, and 42 individuals. In all, 478 people will be helped this year.

“The donations and support from the community are absolutely fantastic,” said McNairn.

Volunteers were on hand Tuesday morning (December 19) to pack boxes and prepare packages for delivery later this week. The packages include a turkey or ham and a number of sides for a holiday meal.

The organization works with the Morrisburg and District Lions Club Angel Tree program and Iroquois-based volunteer Sandra Johnston to also deliver presents for children. There will be more than presents under the tree this year thanks to Christmas Exchange supporters.

“There are also PJs, books, and socks to go with the presents,” McNairn explained.

New this year are seniors gift packages for some of the recipients. These include some day-to-day items which McNairn said are more expensive now with inflation.

Individual and senior’s Christmas meals are being provided by the Exchange through its partnership with Community Food Share.

“It blows me away the support we receive every year,” she added.

This year’s numbers are slightly different from last year, but down from 2021. In 2022, the Exchange provided 115 food baskets and helped 122 children. Two years ago, over 500 individuals were part of the program.

McNairn stressed that the exchange, while sorted in Morrisburg, is supporting families from across the municipality – from Dixon’s Corners to Riverside Heights; Iroquois to Elma.

“It is a South Dundas program, supported by many across South Dundas,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without the generous support we receive.”

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