At this time of year it’s easy to get caught up in excess. One way to temper that is to do what you can to help others, particularly those who could use a helping hand within our own community. In Grey Highlands and the surrounding area, we are very lucky to have a number of organizations doing what they can to ensure that everyone enjoys a happy Christmas. This Christmas season, why not do your part by helping to support one of these extremely worthwhile local groups? Even better…consider making a contribution (your time is often even more appreciated than your money) throughout the year.
“Life’s most persistent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Flesherton LOVE Committee
For years the Flesherton LOVE Committee has provided Christmas baskets to local families in need of some extra support during the holidays. These baskets include a full turkey dinner, toys for children up to age 12 and gift cards for teens 13-18 and are available to registered families in Flesherton and surrounding Grey Highlands communities. The Committee accepts donations of clothing, toys and food as well as financial contributions and they always welcome volunteers to help with organization, packing, gift wrapping and delivery. For more information contact Joan McGee at 519-924-2936.
Flesherton and Community Food Bank
In 2017 the Flesherton and Community Food Bank distributed 731 boxes of food for 53 families including 93 adults and 70 children. On average, 61 boxes are distributed monthly but food bank use has increased by more than 10% annually in recent years. Due to limited storage capabilities, the Flesherton Food Bank purchases food twice a month for regular local client distribution. They are staffed entirely by local volunteers and do not receive any government funding. Donations and volunteers are always welcomed! For more information or to find out how to get involved, click here to download a copy of the Flesherton and Community Food Bank brochure or contact Marion Doyle at [email protected] or 519-599-3576
The Bells Of Christmas
This lovely Owen Sound program is in it’s 4th year and aims to pair community members with an area senior who lives in long-term care or a nursing home and who hasn’t had any visitors throughout the year. A Christmas tree has been set up in the lobby of the Harry Lumley Bayshore Arena. Each of the bell-shaped ornaments includes the first name of an anonymous local senior (so as to prevent any embarrassment) and a few suggested gifts that s/he might like to receive. The goal is simple: “to spread the magic of Christmas and lift the spirits” of those seniors. Good Samaritans are encouraged to take a bell from the tree, purchase a gift, wrap it, attach the tag and bell to the gift and return it to a collection box beside the tree by Dec 10th when the gifts will be picked up for distribution at Christmastime.
Annesley United Church Christmas Hampers
Each Christmas a committee from Annesley works with other organizations to prepare Christmas Hampers for families and individuals in the community. Volunteers and donations are always welcomed and membership at Annesley is not required. For more information, call Dale 519-986-2992
The Annesley Knitwits is a community group based at but not exclusive to Annesley United Church in Markdale. They meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month to knit various items that are then donated to those in need. Their driving purpose is to provide fellowship and community outreach, both in the immediate community of Grey Highlands and in the third world. The group is often in need of yarn for its many projects, for distribution both locally and abroad. If you have yarn that you can donate, please drop it in to the church office or call 519-986-3019. Interested in putting your knitting skills to use for your community? Call Marilyn at 519-986-4068.
This welcoming and inclusive group of people from Annesley and beyond, contribute small projects to the community through their creative gifts of woodworking. Meetings are held monthly on Wednesday evenings. If you would like to participate, have a suggestion for a community project or have materials to donate, please call Mark at 519-986-4390 or Doug at 519-986-3393.
School Breakfast Clubs
Each of our area schools has a Breakfast Club/Nutrition Program run exclusively by volunteers who strive to make fresh, healthy food available to every student each day so that active, growing bodies are fueled and fed in order to be successful during the school day. If every student participates in the program, those who are truly in need are less likely to be singled out. All food preparation, clean up and distribution is done by volunteers. If you are able to donate food or kitchen items, make a financial contribution or volunteer your time (which is often the thing these programs need the most), please contact a school near you.
Beavercrest Community School, Markdale: Office Manager 519-986-2990
Osprey Central School, Maxwell: Office Manager 519922-2341 x521
High Point Community School, Dundalk: Office Manager 519-923-2336
Dundalk & Proton Community School, Dundalk: Office Manager 519-923-2622