If we, at Fred Victor, could add a verse to this popular Frank Sinatra seasonal song, we’d sing:
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
With our friends scarves and hats giving
And everyone saying, “You belong here”
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
So many diversely wonderful community groups and companies have come forward to make this Christmas and holiday season a time of plenty for all. Thank you everyone for your “good cheer”.
Our digital media co-ordinator, Inta, has aunties living in St. John’s Newfoundland who knit a whole box of mitts and hats for Fred Victor community members. They were delivered to our family housing site at Dawes Road and the tenants there (right), including children, picked the ones that fit them best from the colourful selection of hand-knitting. It was lovely. That was on December 18th.
Patty Retsinas, a Neighbourhood Resource Officer with the Divisional Policing Support Unit (left) organized a sock and glove drive for Fred Victor’s Open House Drop-In. She had been helping do education around poverty and homelessness with a youth group from Peel Region. Five youth, three police constables and two group leaders came downtown December 22th to drop off large boxes full of socks and mitts. Drop-in worker, Gomo George, led a tour of our program site, and talked to the group about the challenges faced by people within our community.
The day before, on December 17th, a whole staff team from Strategy Corp (right) arrived to help unload a truck full of Shoebox gifts, 520 boxes to be precise. These Shoebox Project gifts were filled with basic items and little treats assembled and given by individuals, as well as companies such as Holts, AGF, Cadillac Fairview, the Linden School, and DREAM. Gift certificates were donated by Cineplex and Boston Pizza.
The boxes were loaded on dollies or into big green plastic bags, then rolled and carried to our Administrative Office on Adelaide Street East. Fundraising staff immediately distributed the boxes to our many housing, shelter, and mental health service sites. The holiday-wrapped Shoeboxes are like a great big hug, warmly received by our community, who, in many cases, will get one gift this year, and the Shoebox will be it.
And on the same day, Carillion Canada had an energetic team at our Women’s Transition to Housing assembling and hanging shelving units and racks for clothing, hats and towels. Left to right below are: Kate Kline, Fred Victor's women's transitional housing program manager Ulli Groppler, Melissa Lobo, Jennifer Hirst and Geoff Penhorwood.
On December 10th, the annual delicious breakfast food donation arrived in the capable and loving hands of Doreen and Valerie, church women from Dunbarton Fairport United Church in Pickering. We laughed once again about last year’s trip into the city in the middle of a snow storm. They are the most faithful of givers! Thank you.