To Celebrate the Spirit of Giving

We Have Asked the Local Charities to Send Us Stories, Volunteer Experiences, Letters of Thanks and Photos that Highlight the Importance of Giving Back to the Community

Community Christmas Cheer

In April 2011, representatives from a number of local community churches met to determine if we worked together, we might better serve the community at Christmas. As we progressed, local service organizations and a local communications business joined the team. From the first meeting, Community Christmas Cheer emerged with the mission: ?To increase Christmas assistance in our community enabling individuals and families in need to receive a food hamper and gifts.? The mission was and still is based on the core values of ?building relationships, providing hope and restoring dignity.? In our fledgling year, there were three goals: Simplify and enhance access; support a coordinated awareness campaign; and help more people. In 2012, Community Christmas Cheer combined programs into a single warehouse; 408 individuals and families were served, including 513 children, who received toys and gifts. Collingwood is a very giving community! Everything accomplished by Community Christmas Cheer was by donation. Volunteers (more than 120) donated their time. Every food item in each of the 408 food hampers was donated or purchased from donated funds. Every toy or gift was donated. Warehouse space was donated. Advertising and communications were donated. Clothing items were donated. Collingwood is a very giving community! For Community Christmas Cheer and all of the member organizations, confidentiality for the individuals and families receiving help is critical. This confidentiality extends to each and every volunteer as part of signing their volunteer registration form. ?Telling stories? is a formidable challenge. A number of thank you notes have been received. For more information on Community Christmas Cheer email heartsofchristmas@ gmail.com or call 211.

Beaver Valley Outreach

Beaver Valley Outreach (BVO), celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, is a community-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to ?making good things happen in our community? ? with programs, services and events designed to enhance the lives of families and individuals in the Town of The Blue Mountains. The heart of BVO is more than 200 volunteers, who give of their time, skills and energy to deliver programs in the community. The economic engine of BVO is the Treasure Shop, a store in Thornbury which sells quality recycled children?s, women?s and men?s clothing, toys, books, linens and housewares. More than 70 Treasure Shop volunteers work daily to sort, clean, repair and price a large volume of items generously donated from the community via drop boxes located beside the store. The Treasure Shop has learned how to ?repurpose? and recycle, diverting a large number of useful items from landfill. Most items are sold in the store or used in BVO programs. Some go to various charities and organizations in need, both local and farther afield. BVO generates very little waste for an organization its size. Because containers, paper, cardboard and metal are recycled, only one garbage container appears at the curb side per week. At this time of year, BVO and the Treasure Shop would like to thank both the community for its donations of quality, reusable items, and BVO volunteers for their continued hard work and dedication. For Treasure Shop Holiday hours, visit www.bvo.ca. To enquire about BVO volunteer opportunities, please call 519-599-2577, ext. 24.

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