Did you hear that Santa Claus was at a parade in downtown Ottawa, in Nepean and in Kanata last November 20th? Well, I am happy to tell you that “Santa's Spirit” was right here in Carlington on that day, for the 13th Annual Carlington Food Drive.
That spirit was found in the enthusiasm and effort of 80 volunteers and in the caring and generous nature of members of the community. We did it again Carlington! Not only did we reach our $10,000 goal but we also demonstrated that we can make a difference.
Thanks to the usual dedication and teamwork of so many people, the food drive was a great success. Approximately 4,500 items (from canned milk to peanut butter), bags of clothing (mitts, hats, snow suits, etc.), toys, as well as cash donations were collected for the Caldwell Family Centre. Someone actually donated 500 “reconditioned” stuffed animals!
There are so many individuals and groups of people who make this annual drive a reality that it would be impossible to thank everyone individually. Special kudos to the following:
- The Carlington Summit for the publicity which saved on the high cost of printing, and efforts in folding and delivering flyers to every Carlington household before the drive.
- The enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers (some veterans, others novices) working in teams collecting food and clothing door-to-door.
- The group from the Caldwell Family Centre in charge of systematically sorting, counting, packing and storing the donations as they come in.
- Members of my family who show up year after year to help in various ways.
- People offering their homes as drop-off centres: a good reminder for their neigh- bours that the food drive is on that day.
- The “volunteer” catering crew preparing the food and feeding the cold (this year, wet), tired and hungry workers.
- La Paroisse Saint-Bonaventure for the yearly support and supplying the parish hall as “operations headquarters”.
- La 43e Meute de Louveteaux (Cub Pack) de la paroisse Saint-Rémi for their door to-door collecting.
- Marlene Catterall, MP - Ottawa West- Nepean, for her continued support.
- Wendy Stewart - regional councillor, for her continued support.
All Carlington residents who open their door with a smile and words of encouragement, have items ready for pick-up or take them to a drop-off centre. It never fails to amaze me that some donors thank the volunteers for giving them the opportunity to contribute.
As in any other great project, the support of local business always enhances the results. Special thanks to the following:
- Jim Charron from Turpin Pontiac Buick GMC for lending us a van.
- Gary Schechtman from Mail Boxes Etc (Hampton Park) for photocopying the drop-off flyers at an affordable price.
- Loblaws (Merivale & Baseline) for pro- viding plastic bags used for collection, and the contents of their food bin on the day of the food drive.
- Loeb (Merivale & Clyde) for the con- tents of their food bin for the day.
- Finateri Ltd (992 Merivale Road) for offering their location as a drop-off centre.
- The News (Westboro/Hampton Park) for publishing an article prior to the drive.
For further information on the Carlington Food Drive, please call me, Jocelyne D'Aoust, sales representative, Coldwell Banker Coburn Realty and Carlington resident, at 729-2009.