The Spirit of Christmas
Peterborough is a very giving community. While most of us are scrambling to finish our Christmas shopping, there are some people who are working tirelessly to make Christmas happen for those less fortunate. Here are the stories of just a few people who help spread the Spirit of Christmas.
She called the YES Shelter to see if they had a family that they could help. Not only is she collecting gifts and necessities for a family of five but she and some volunteers are cooking them a full turkey dinner to be delivered on Christmas Eve. Bonnie rallied her friends to help out. She received money, clothes, games, blankets, scarves and even had a foosball table. Bonnie says, “I had a really great year and I want to make sure others have a great holiday. We all deserve to feel special and that we aren’t forgotten. A lot of charities only donate for children under 12 years of age, so I wanted to make sure that the teenagers were included. There are a lot of people who would love to start something like this, but don’t know where to begin. Even $10 makes a big difference.” Now finished with her collecting of gifts, Bonnie has a message for everyone that helped, "to all of those who have donated: money, gift cards, new clothes, food, toys, games...you all mean so much to me for helping with this goal! I hope I don't miss anyone! But here is a little MUAH from me to you!!. delivery of gifts will happen tomorrow. Fully cooked turkey dinner will be picked up by the shelter on the 24th and delivered straight to the family. You all are rock stars of the giving spirit!"
Donna is a motorcycle enthusiast who started the Kawartha Chapter of Desiree’s Angels and is also the founder of Classy Sassy Riders. She asked the women from her motorcycle group to help and, of course, they came out and delivered! They collected 15 purses, 1 soft cube and 4 bags full of personal hygiene products for Crossroads Women’s Shelter. Donna was a victim of spousal abuse and, at one point, stayed at Crossroads. She understands what the women need. She says, “The biker community do more charitable activities than you know or realize. My heart is overjoyed, I cannot thank all of the amazing women who participated in making this possible enough. Now we are sharing the love to make somebody else smile and feel they actually matter this Christmas.”
Dougie suffers from Schizophrenia and addiction and is homeless. I met him on George Street one evening, asked him how he was doing and if there was anything he needed. He told me that he had no socks and that someone stole his bike. Let me preface this with the fact that Dougie is a good guy. He's very nice and doesn't accost people for money. Whenever I see him while on my A Taste of the Kawarthas food tours, I give him my change and ask him how he's doing. Canadian Tire is well known for their charitable giving, so they were my first phone call. I contacted Ralph Moulton, Dealer of the Canadian Tire on Lansdowne Street, for help. Ralph did not hesitate and immediately offered to donate a new bike. Finding Dougie to let him know took a few days. I left messages with the shops I know he visits. After a bit of searching, The Bike Repair Shop on George Street found Dougie and I drove him to Canadian Tire. Ralph was wonderful! He gave Dougie a bike, bike lock and some much needed warm socks. Ralph recently took over the Lansdowne Street Canadian Tire, and we are very luck to have him in our community. Dougie was beaming as he shook Ralph's hand and then he gave me a big hug and whispered "Thank You" in my ear. If you would like to read about Dougie, go to this link written by his daughter. Then you will get it.
Brian has been putting on the Christmas on Queen Light Show in Hastings for over 10 years. It takes him months of work to get the show up and running. Each year he puts out a collection box asking for donations for charities. This year the two charities that will benefit are Angel Tree Toy Drive and Sick Kids Hospital. You can watch an amazing Christmas lights display and give to charity at the same time. To date Brian has raised approximately $13,500.
Jay Lough Hayes
Jay and her Elves have been collecting presents for Santas for Peterborough Seniors for the past 10 years. They works tirelessly for months to put up Christmas trees in various locations around Peterborough. Her dedication to our community's seniors is making a difference in their lives. These seniors who has, by no fault of their own, have no presents and no one at Christmas. This year she has helped over 500 seniors to have the joy of opening a present on Christmas day. She says, "we are all children at heart and they should have fun too."
Gifts that Bonnie Moore raised for a family in need
Donna Maguire collected personal hygiene products for Crossroads Women's Shelter
Dougie and his new bike with Ralph Moulton
Kudos to every one of these Angels. Helping others is an intangible, unexplainable feeling that, once you have experienced it, will stay with you forever. I realize this is just a few of the Angels out there. All you have to do is look around to find someone who would benefit from your help. The old adage ‘It’s better to give than to receive’ is very true. It is the Spirit of Christmas.