Time to fill those boxes!
The CAB RH Rediker’s Christmas Basket campaign is in full swing with donation boxes set up in stores and businesses all around the community. People can put either non-perishable foods in the boxes or gift objects like new children’s toys. “People often like to give hand knit items too,” said Mylene Labonté, the CAB’S director. There are boxes to fill at the CAB, Jardin des Frontieres (Sunnyside is running its own Christmas Basket campaign), Chapeau de Paille Day care, the Stanstead Journal, IGA Stanstead, the Curling Club, the Beebe Canada Post Office, the Family Counter, the Caisse de Stanstead, the Stanstead CIBC and the Intermarché grocery store in Ayer’s Cliff.
Donations of money are also appreciated and may be needed even more this year since the CAB has lost a major partner in their Christmas campaign, the Canadian border guards. The Canadian Customs officials started the campaign about twenty-five years ago, eventually partnering with the CAB so that tax receipts could be issued and more people would be reached. More recently they were in charge of sending out the requests for donations to the local companies and travelers crossing the border would drop off food or cheques with them. “They were told by their Agency not to do it anymore. It’s disappointing; some of the officials worked very hard on the campaign. But in our new, politically correct world…we don’t know how it will affect this year’s campaign,” commented Ms. Labonté. Tax receipts are available for donations of money.
The local Stanstead Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 5 is helping again this year, raising money with their 8th annual Memory Tree. For a $5 donation a light will be lit in memory of a loved one during a special ceremony. Just send the donation and the name of the loved one to the Stanstead Legion. Local artist Pauline Leroux has, once again, donated a painting of a local country scene for a raffle. The painting is being displayed in the CIBC building in the Beebe sector where the raffle tickets can be bought for $5 each or three for $10.
The CAB will take applications from families or individuals interested in receiving a Christmas Basket until December 15th. Those interested can phone only on Mondays or Fridays to make their requests.
The CAB’S holiday activities begin this week with their Christmas Tea, this Friday, for their more than one hundred volunteers. The Christmas party for the English Seniors Health Day members will take place on Wednesday, December 7, instead of on the Tuesday, while the French Health Day members will have their party on the 8th. Santa will be visiting the children in the Children’s Program on December 14th and the children will get their turn to ‘play Santa’ when they visit Seniors’ Residences in the region and give out small gifts to the residents.
“Our Christmas Meals on Wheels dinner will be delivered on December 21st. There will be turkey, meat pie, cranberry sauce, the works! We’ll probably
have two crews on the road that day delivering,” said the director. The volunteer centre closes from December 24th to January 9th. Frozen meals from the Meals on Wheels program can be ordered ahead and will be delivered before the 24th.
In January the Centre will kick off a fund-raising campaign to upgrade their kitchen. Their regular equipment, fridges and stoves, make preparing hundreds of meals weekly a real challenge while the demand for meals continues to grow. “We know that our MRC is aging faster than all the other MRCS in the Townships, and the Townships has the fastest aging population in Quebec. By 2015, 27% of our population will be 60 or older,” explained Ms. Labonté. The upgrading to industrial food preparation equipment and the needed kitchen renovations are expected to cost around $50,000.