Holiday Cheer in Gear in Our Community

Christmas is a time of giving, and our community wholeheartedly embraced that this Christmas season. While we would never be able to list each and every one who partnered with us over the holidays, we wanted to recognize some of the schools, churches, coworkers, fraternities, sports clubs, unions, and individuals that helped us support our neighbours in need. These incredible people raised monetary donations, gave food, and collected warm clothes, showing us the meaning of Christmas through their care for others.

St. Patrick’s Church, Binbrook Baptist Church, Access Community Church, Mount Hope Community Christian Reformed Church, and The Church of Our Saviour the Redeemer raised a combined ~ 2,000 lbs. of non-perishable food items for our Good Food Centre.

Before the students went off for Christmas vacation, a number of schools and colleges also held food drives. The staff and students of Mohawk College Centre for Community Partnerships and Experiential Learning, Kids & Company, Correctional Centre for Professional Advancement & Training, Teach Me My Way Services, and Calvin Christian School collected much-needed food which went a long way to help this Christmas.

Our community members didn’t just collect food, they also collected purses and filled them hygiene items and gifts. A big thank you goes out to The Purse Project Network and Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign for donating purses so that the women in our shelters would have something to open on Christmas morning.

Though times are tough for local businesses, many still had a part in spreading the Christmas spirit. LuLu & Lavigne Home Studio donated one dollar from every sale during their “Twelve Days of Giving Back” campaign, and raised $1,000! Fresh Image Print also held a “Buy One, Give One” campaign, donating one toque to Mission Services for each toque that was purchased during December. They delivered 150 toques to help keep our community warm this winter!

As the weather got colder, we were especially thankful for everyone who donated new warm winter clothing to be distributed through our shelters and programs. Columbia International College donated hats and scarves, Blake & Nancy C. knitted gloves for the kids at Inasmuch House, Eugena G. knitted scarves, Margaret R. knitted hats, and The Lively Dragon Dragon Boat Club collected new hats and shirts. The Rotary Club of Dundas Valley Sunrise, MacNeill Baptist Church and Altra Construction Rentals also donated winter gear.

HOPA Ports got their office into the holiday spirit by building a Christmas tree out of cereal boxes, which they later donated to our Good Food Centre. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Hamilton donated pizza for the women at Willow’s Place, while Gowling WLG, Alfa Scan Diagnostic Imaging, Amazing Fitness, and Bentley Place Condominiums all held food drives.

In early December, we had the privilege of partnering with VR Pro for their annual Hamilton Santa Run, with a portion of each race registration supporting Mission Services! This event raised nearly $1,500 and 419 lbs. of canned food for our programs. Paramount Pharmasave, Pain Care Clinic, and Northpoint Commercial Finance also contributed funds and non-perishable food items, while Concentrix collected food and care packages.

We are thankful for those who took the time to collect supplies and put together care packages for our clients. The McMaster University DeGroote School of Business dropped off 50 bags, and Steph Nash Mortgages and Meg S. also provided supplies. Maria D. delivered a number of items for Willow’s Place, while Bethel Gospel Tabernacle contributed bags of hygiene supplies and Project Impacting Lives donated pre-made care packages.

To make things a little more special for the holidays, we added a stuffed bear, donated by the Police Retirees of Ontario, to our care packages, giving our clients a special surprise on Christmas morning. The Hamilton Shoebox Project contributed gift cards as well, helping to lessen the costs for necessities. Harvest Cannabis collected food and toys, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers also collected toys, and Leslie M. hand-made the cutest wooden toys for the kids at Inasmuch House.

Many more companies, groups, and individuals also donated food, including Maple Leaf Foods and its employees, who donated 2,258 lbs. Princess Auto, BIOX Canada, North Star Technical, Pauls Realty, The Mystic Peach, WinMar, CityKidz, McMaster Immunology Research Centre, Phi Delta Theta at McMaster University, Nancy D., Southern Cruisers Riding Club, Good Neighbour Ministries, Dundas Curling Club, Mohawk College Facilities Management, and Alstom Etobicoke all raised food to help us provide for our neighbours this holiday season.

We were thrilled to see our community come together once again over the holidays to ensure that our neighbours were taken care of. Whether food, funds, warm clothing and accessories, or care packages, it is wonderful to see people showing how much they care. Thank you to everyone who gave, whether in person or online, with recognition or anonymously. Your trust and partnership with us mean so much, as we seek to make a difference in lives of those who need it most!

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