TheWayISeeIt... It’s ea­sy to lend a hand

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

The ho­li­days are upon us for bet­ter or worse, and with most trying to fill end­less food, spi­rits and gift lists we can so­me­times forget tho­se­most in­need.

People I speak with say they want to help, but are just not sur­ew­here it’smost­nee­ded.

In our neck of the woods ho­we­ver, there is no­shor­tage of places wel­co­ming as­sis­tance.

And if there is one thing I’ve lear­ned, it can be sur­pri­sing who needs help since those fal­le­non­hard­times don’t ad­ver­tise their woes.

I once met a wo­man from an af­fluent St. La­zare neigh­bou­rhood who nee­ded as­sis­tance a few times fro­ma Hud­son food bank af­ter lea­ving her abu­sive hus­band.

Had she not ta­ken help, she wouldn’t have been able to feed her th­ree chil­dren.

A well pla­ced exe­cu­tive to­day, the wo­man gives re­gu­lar­ly to the same food bank that prop­ped he­rup­du­ring her dar­kest days.

A Vau­dreuil-Do­rion fa­ther who lost his job re­lied on food bank staples so his kids could take lunch to school.

A Pin­court­mo­ther nee­ded help out­fit­ting her chil­dren for win­ter and ac­cep­ted win­ter clo­thing do­na­tions.

The pic­ture that emer­ged is that ap­pea­rances can be de­cep­tive and you ne­ver know who needs a hel­ping hand... if on­ly for a while.

The fol­lo­wing is a list of lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions that wel­come vo­lun­teers or do­na­tions year round. To find out about other groups, contact your­town­hall.

Wo­men’s shel­ter

La Pas­se­relle wo­men’s shel­ter, ope­ra­ting in the re­gion for the past 10 years, opens its door to wo­men and chil­dren fleeing do­mes­tic vio­lence. Re­si­dents can stay up to three­months de­pen­din­go­ne­va­lua­tions and­needs.

The Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes shel­ter, that will not re­veal its lo­ca­tion for sa­fe­ty rea­sons, says as ma­ny as 21wo­me­nand chil­dren can live at the­ho­mea­ta­time.

The ho­li­days can be es­pe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult and the shel­ter wel­comes gift do­na­tions for wo­men and chil­dren (ba­bies up to kids 17 years old), so each can have a present to open Ch­rist­mas morning. Such do­na­tions could in­clude:

Scarves, hats, gloves, sham­poo, condi­tio­ner, bo­dy lo­tion, nail po­lish, hair brushes, slip­pers, socks, py­ja­mas, books and­more.

Gifts for chil­dren could in­clude: games, co­lou­ring books, crayons, puzzles, toys, books or­mo­vies in French or English (wi­thout violent content). The shel­ter al­so wel­comes food to make a fes­tive ho­li­day meal, and ba­ked goods. To ar­range a de­li­ve­ry, call 450424-6077.

Vau­dreuil-Do­rion help centre

Centre d’ac­tion bé­né­vole L’Ac­tuel vo­lun- teer centre in Vau­dreuil-Do­rion helps fa­mi­lies in need with a host of ser­vices that in­cludes a food bank.

Du­ring the ho­li­days the group ad­di­tio­nal­ly gives gifts to those who’ve fal­len on hard times.

Last year, more than 400 new toys and gifts were dis­tri­bu­ted to 94 fa­mi­lies. Do­na­tions came from com­pa­nies, schools and in­di­vi­duals.

This year’s distribution will take place Dec. 17. So far, 71 people have si­gned up for as­sis­tance.

L’Ac­tuel is still ac­cep­ting do­na­tions of food, mo­ney and new toys for chil­dren from ba­bies to ado­les­cents, hou­se­hold clea­ning pro­ducts, soap, sham­poo, too­th­paste and more.

People can give ge­ne­ric gifts or adopt a fa­mi­ly.

Be­come aNez rouge vo­lun­teer

Those with time on their hands can be­come Opé­ra­tion Nez rouge dri­vers that es­cort home those who’ve had too­much to drink and can’t drive.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion re­quires dri­vers to fill out pa­per­work and consent to an SQ back­ground check, which can take a few days.

Once ap­pro­ved, dri­vers take shifts from 8:30 p.m. to around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning.

And though users of the ser­vice are not re­qui­red to pay, cash do­na­tions are gi­ven to L’Ac­tuel. Nez rouge al­so needs phone ope­ra­tors and vo­lun­teer mas­cots.

Dri­vers will be on du­ty this wee­kend. To vo­lun­teer, call 450 455-3331. Those nee­ding the Nez Rouge ser­vice can call 450 4244011.

Hud­son food bank

Le Pont Brid­ging Food Bank has been going strong for the past 14 years hel­ping an ave­rage of 20 fa­mi­lies a month, year round.

And though the same people don’t al­ways need as­sis­tance filling their cup­boards, the need for food and eve­ry­day staples ne­ver goes away.

In fact, Le Pont Brid­ging on­ly closes its doors two weeks each year du­ring the ho­li­days thanks to the Hud­son Fire De­part­ment, which makes ho­li­day food bas­kets.

The best­way to help Le Pont Brid­ging is to do­nate non-per­ishable food or per­ishables that can be left with staff at the Hud­son IGA, lo­ca­ted on Main Rd.

Those in need are gi­ven food once a month that can be stret­ched to last close to th­ree weeks.

Nee­ded items in­clude meat, dai­ry and pro­duce and eve­ry­day items.

For in­for­ma­tion or to do­nate food or mo­ney, callLePont Brid­ging at450458-5318.

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