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